Aaron L. Brody

Those remarkable advances in food and food packaging technologies that have been chronicled in this column and are in the offing may resign to merely awesome as a result of the cutting-edge progress being presented at the 2012 IFT Annual Meeting. Although IFT’s dynamic Food Packaging Division will not hold formal events this year, the influence of the professionals who populate our ranks is clearly visiblein the dozens of papers and presentations scheduled.

Fly Us to the Moon and Mars
Our previous chronicles of flights on space shuttles and residence on the space station have taught us much about what nutrition and complementary food components are needed and sought after in order to optimize astronaut functionality during future missions to the moon and Mars.

In Session 025, which begins at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 26, NASA’s Michele Perchonok will deliver a presentation titled “Overview of the NASA Advanced Food Technology (AFT) Project.” AFT must overcome one major risk—inadequate food system—while achieving these objectives: delivery of adequate nutrition, acceptable food quality, and adequate use of resource allocation—all dependent on location and duration of missions. As the missions extend in time and space, including prolonged stays on extra-terrestrial surfaces, the current packaged food systems might have to evolve into bioregenerative food systems, some of which will be described in this presentation.

Active Packaging Advances
The organization of a new group of persons and companies to consolidate active and intelligent packaging resources has prompted predictions of pectacular growth in this category during the coming half decade. In Session 096, which begins at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 27, Tony Jin of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture will offer a paper on antimicrobial packaging systems developed from edible and nonedible biopolymers.

During this same session, Sea Min from Seoul Women’s University will discuss antimicrobial edible films derived directly from de-fatted mustard meal to control Listeria microorganisms on food contents. Such materials are inherently antimicrobial and so would not require additives or coatings for functionality.

Another presentation from Min and his colleagues will focus on a mustard meal cast composite coating film and its antioxidant effects on smoked salmon. A third presentation from Seoul Women’s University will focus on the prediction of the effects on Listeria on smoked salmon.This discussion includes measurement of antimicrobial precursor, diffusion coefficient, and minimum inhibitory concentrations, and the development of a predictive model.

A fourth presentation in the session deals with physical and thermomechanical properties of edible laminated films of defatted mustard meal—a by-product and so a possibly significantly lower-cost agricultural raw material.

A University of Guelph poster presentation from Dai et al. in Session 303, which begins at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 28, describes release of the broad spectrum antimicrobial allyl isothiocyanate (AIT) from mustard seed powder. A thesis, based on kinetics, is offered that mustard seed powder may be used as a natural carrier for AIT for shelf-life extension.

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C. Wu of the University of Delaware plans a discussion on antimicrobial and antioxidant effects of lignin extracts from residue of corn ethanol production. An interesting combination of antioxidant and antimicrobial effects from a single material might be a highlight of this Wednesday morning program.

Also in this extensive set is University of Guelph’s W. Li with an in-depth presentation of environmentally friendly, cost-competitive double-layer antimicrobial package materials. Substrate materials include polylactic acid (PLA) and sugar beet pulp (SBP) or polybutylene adipate co-terephthalate (PBAT). Antimicrobial AIT, with or without chitosan, is added into the body materials. Experimental testing demonstrated significant activity against Listeria and Salmonella, thus delivering a biodegradable solution to this perplexing problem.

Rutgers’ K. Yam will cap the program with a discussion of the kinetics of controlled release active antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds—introducing a new concept called “target release rate.”

Also in a Thursday afternoon poster session, Lee et al. from Seoul Women’s University will exhibit defatted soybean meal-based (residue of oil extraction) films incorporating lactoperoxidase as the antimicrobial against Salmonella. The film was also demonstrated to effectively incorporate hypothiocyanate (OSCN) into the matrix.

Another of the intriguing poster topics is from Y. Zhong from Jia Tong University, Shanghai, China, and Y. Zhao of Oregon State University. It is titled “Antimicrobial, Physico-chemical and Microstructural Properties of beta chitosan and Kudzu Starch Composite Films.” The chitosan antimicrobial extracted from squid and the starch from that scourge of the American South enhanced water vapor permeability without deterring from antimicrobial properties.

From Universidad de las Americas Puebla in Mexico comes “Development of Polyethylene Films with Added Oregano Essential Oil or Potassium Sorbate to Inhibit Growth of Penicillium expansum and Aspergillus niger in Model Systems.” The title describes the experimental protocols applied with laboratory-based materials incorporating essential oils as antimycotics.

Chlorine Dioxide
Oddly split from each other on the Thursday program schedule are three presentations on the delivery of chlorine dioxide as an antimicrobial. The first by Kerem Durdag of Maine-based Biovation describes for the first time new technology for controlled release chlorine dioxide delivery to fresh produce and the commercial trials that have demonstrated effectiveness. This system goes far beyond the previous packaging methods employing the chemical, which has had regulatory acceptance for food equipment sanitation for several years.

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The second paper from K. Yam and his colleagues at Rutgers and the USDA describes a technology similar to that of Biovation—a self-generating chlorine dioxide package material. Reactants sodium chlorite and citric acid were incorporated into PLA films to release from 120 to 665 ppm of chlorine dioxide against mold growth in grape tomatoes with successful results. The authors suggest that the system be constructed as a self-pasteurization method that extends refrigerated shelf life.

A presentation authored by Martinez-Sanz from Spain and colleagues from the USDA describes novel PLA fibers with antimicrobial properties produced by solution spin blowing. Bacterial cellulose nanowhiskers were incorporated into the PLA fibers acting as nucleating agents. To confer antimicrobial properties, carvacrol and tetracycline hydrochloride were incorporated into the fibers. Gelatin was added to modify the release properties. Antibiotic-loaded structures demonstrated the best antimicrobial properties.

Although some of the research cited above combined antimicrobial and antioxidant effects, the following presentations on Wednesday and Thursday will focus solely on antioxidants not employing traditional oxygen scavengers such as ferrous oxide. From Colin-Chavez et al. in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, comes “Migration of Astaxanthin from Polyethylene Active Packaging.” Astaxanthin is a xanophyll red-orange carotenoid, a powerful antioxidant derived from Azteca marigolds. Low density polyethylene films into which astaxanthin was incorporated were evaluated for active agent migration, diffusion, etc. Results suggested that the active agent could migrate into lipidbased foods to function as antioxidants.

Tian et al. at the University of Massachusetts will offer a presentation titled “Development and Demonstration of an Active Packaging Film to Prevent Lipid Oxidation in Oil-in-Water Emulsion Systems.” A non-migratory active film was produced by grafting metal chelating monomers (acrylic acid) into polypropylene films. The composite structure reduced oxidative lipid oxidation in contained oil-in-water emulsions.

Anti-Insect Packaging
Thursday will offer two papers on employing packaging to control insects. Presenters from the Seoul Womens’ University, Sungkyukwan University, and Korea University (all in Korea) will discuss an anti-insect sachet and packaging surface designed to prevent Indian Meal Moth. Essential oils of cinnamon and fennel were the insecticidal compounds included in sachets and also in low density polyethylene (LDPE) film to kill Indian Meal Moth.

A parallel paper from the same research group will describe cinnamon oil and fennel encapsulated in gum Arabic, maltodextrin, whey protein isolate, beta cyclodextrin, or polyvinyl alcohol and incorporated onto LDPE or into polypropylene resins. Insect repellent effects were found with the microencapsulation which, of course, demonstrated slow controlled release.

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Innovative Food Packaging Technologies
Those of you who have been tracking the progress of packaging innovation through this column will immediately recognize the realms of pressure assisted thermal sterilization (PATS) and microwave assisted sterilization (MATS), which are on the path to commercialization.

Gustavo Barbosa-Canovas, Juming Tang, and their collaborators at Washington State University have studied the properties of package structures subjected to PATS. Two multilayer films containing oxygen barrier ethylene vinyl alcohol plus other polymers were exposed to the ultra high pressure. Changes in the structure were quantified in an effort to comprehend the gas barrier changes due to the stressful PATS operations. Their research will be discussed in a session on Thursday. Ohio State’s Bala Balasubramanian will critically enumerate the impact of the combined processes on the oxygen transmission rates of selected package materials being applied in the same session.

On that same day, Tang and a small army of Washington State University researchers will report on microbiological validation of MATS of selected food products including mashed potatoes in barrier trays and salmon in Alfredo sauce and chicken in dumplings, both in multilayer barrier pouches.

In another presentation, Tang will report on studies on possible interactions between food package materials and high intensity microwave fields. Because of the comprehensive nature of the view, this report encompasses broad and deep perspectives of the entire realm on MATS and its protective packaging.

Microwave Heating
A report on selective heating of ready meals in microwave ovens will be presented by speakers from Shieltronics in the Netherlands. The company’s technology appears to apply multilayer flexible structures to control the incident microwave energy reaching the individual compartments of the food tray.

More to Come
In the space available for this preview we can only hint at some of the more intriguing new technologies that will be highlighted during the course of the Annual Meeting. These include breathable membranes to enhance natural ripening of cheese, modified atmosphere packaging of pizza in Mexico, and a master pack system for peaches during chilled distribution. That is just a small sampling. There are dozens more to be seen during the days of the Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.

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Exhibitor Information
The following are brief descriptions of some of the packaging-related supplier exhibits at this year’s Food Expo.

Large range of active packaging options efficiently control rancidity, inhibit mold growth, and inhibit aerobic spoilage organisms. Multisorb offers solutions for extending the shelf life of case-ready meats, bakery products, organic foods, dry powders, packaged meats, nuts, and oil. Only FDA compliant raw materials and packages are used. Multisorb’s MAPLOX® is a low-oxygen packaging program to extend the shelf life of case-ready meats. FreshCard™ is an oxygen-absorbing, multifunctional card technology. FreshPax® are oxygenabsorbing packets. Multisorb Technologies, www.multisorb.com, Booth 409

No. 2 Pouch™ is made from a coextruded blend that yields a pouch with excellent stiffness and strength characteristics. Its unique features include recyclability, ease of opening, resealability, and high definition graphics for billboard visibility. It has high modulus and puncture resistance and excellent moisture barrier functionality and is grease resistant.

The BioPouch is an appropriate choice for brands with a natural or organic message. It is made from renewable materials sourced responsibly from the Forestry Stewardship Council or similar management programs and is designed to provide the same functionality of a pouch produced with conventional resins, including moisture and oxygen barrier, reclosing, and aesthetic appeal. Ampac, www.ampaconline.com, Booth 2980

Bag-in-box intermediate bulk container, Arena 330 Shipper™ is all plastic, collapsible, reusable, and suitable for shipment and storage of nonhazardous liquids. Its capacity is 330 gal/1,250 L. A.R. Arena Products also offers a wide range of liquid liners, including the patented Air Evac® hands-free discharge system. A.R. Arena Products, www.arenaproducts.com, Booth 601

Aaron L. Brody, Ph.D., Contributing Editor
President and CEO, Packaging/Brody Inc., Duluth, Ga., and Adjunct Professor, University of Georgia
[email protected]

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Miscellaneous Preview

Additional products and services that will be highlighted at the Food Expo include the following.

A line of natural and organic invert syrups and reduced-calorie liquid sweeteners from CLS will be introduced. The Capol® line of surface treatment agents—which includes ready-to-use polishes, glazes, and antisticking agents for all types of confections and food products—will also be featured. It includes reduced VOC and label-friendly organic products along with barrier coatings and release agents for equipment surfaces. Centerchem also offers a complete line of enzymes and Maxinvert Invertase manufactured by DSM. Centerchem Inc., www.centerchem.com, Booth 2750

A division of NOW Foods, Healthco provides natural products retailers and manufacturers with bulk raw materials as well as comprehensive private label services. Healthco offers an extensive selection of value-driven, science-based products backed by fast, reliable service and is the exclusive supplier of enzyme-treated Stevia FSE ™ sweetener. Healthco, www.healthco-intl.com, Booth 2156

An international nonprofit organization that establishes quality standards for pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, and food ingredients, US Pharmacopeia publishes documentary standards in the USP-NF, the USP Dietary Supplements Compendium, and the Food Chemicals Codex. To support analytical methods in these compendia, USP offers more than 2,800 reference materials, including items for botanicals, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. US Pharmacopeia, www.usp.org, Booth 1036

Sterile polyethylene laboratory sample bags for quality assurance testing and other microbiological applications are available in sizes from 1 mL to 5,441 mL. Whirl-Pak® bags hold liquids or solids and have a leak-proof closing tab. All bags have +1 Sterilization and patented puncture-proof tabs where the tape on the top of the bag covers the wire ends, minimizing bag puncture and the potential for scratches. Sterility documentation is available for every box of bags using Parametric Release Process and lot number traceability. Nasco Whirl-Pak, www.whirl-pak.com, Booth 1939

ISO 9001:2008 certified clinical research facility, Glycemic Index Laboratories conducts acute and long-term clinical trials in healthy participants or specific target populations, following recognized methodologies or using custom-designed protocols. Services include satiety assessment, markers of metabolism analysis, glycemic index determination, continuous blood glucose monitoring, weight loss trials, cardiovascular disease risk factors, multicenter trials, natural health products, and novel fiber classification. Glycemic Index Laboratories, www.gilabs.com, Booth 2059

The Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) recently published The Food Safety Modernization Act: A Comprehensive, Practical Guide to the Landmark Legislation. It is an in-depth analysis of the Food Safety Modernization Act’s history, major provisions and implementation. EAS Consulting Group’s Ed Steele, John Kvenberg, Declan Conroy, and Michael Olson authored chapters in this resource. View a book preview on the FDLI website, and stop by the EAS booth at the Food Expo to order a copy at a 10% discount off list price. EAS Consulting Group, www.easconsultinggroup.com, Booth 701

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Compusense® at-hand is a web-based platform that enables sensory and consumer tests on any device with a web browser, making it easy to deploy intuitive and engaging questionnaires to quickly get results. Compusense® five is a robust, dependable data collection and analysis application that serves as an ideal tool in sensory labs. Compusense Sensory Services conducts contract consumer and trained panels for leading food and beverage companies. Compusense Inc., www.compusense.com, Booth 1401

Genesis R&D Product Development and Labeling Software provides a reliable alternative to costly lab analysis and outsourcing of label creation while helping users to comply with government regulations. The system incorporates a database of more than 46,000 food items, and information on up to 160 nutrients and nutrient factors is provided for each item. Label formats that may be generated include a Nutrition Facts Label, supplement facts, aggregate, dual declaration, and child label. ESHA Research Inc., www.esha.com, Booth 2621

Industry-focused search engine, Innovadex.com connects product innovators with ingredient suppliers. Innovadex.com has searchable technical documents from more than 425 global ingredient suppliers with technical data sheets, MSDS, nutritional information, and applications. It’s possible to request samples from multiple suppliers with a single click. Innovadex LLC, www.innovadex.com, Booth 1954

Automatic shoe cover dispensers and specialized shoe covers (photo, below) save companies time and money by eliminating time wasted when employees manually apply shoe covers. Shoe Inn™ Fusion is a nonelectric, hands-free automatic shoe cover dispenser suitable for medium to high-volume uses; it holds up to 110 shoe covers. Shoe Inn™ Stay is a stationary, non-electric automatic shoe cover dispenser intended for medium to highvolume uses; it holds up to 220 shoe covers. Both machines are stainless steel and ABS Plastic. Shoe Inn (E Complete LLC) www.theshoecovers.com, Booth 3480

Industrial hand cleaner,Alpete E4, is a medium-to-heavy duty cleaner that is grit and solvent free so it is gentle on hands. Each 1,250 mL cartridge fits both the VersaClenz manual and touchless dispensers. The VersaClenz All-in-One Hand Hygiene System incorporates 17 different soaps, sanitizers, and lotions, giving the end user a variety of choices.

A new Adjustable Dispenser Stand is portable, and its height can be modified, giving users maximum flexibility in location and adaptability to employee and customer needs. The new stand boasts sturdy construction and can be used with both the VersaClenz and AutoMyst Touchless Dispensers. Best Sanitizers, www.bestsanitizers.com, Booth 108

Steam/vacuum pasteurization process for specialty commodities such as nuts, seeds, and spices is available from the company along with the ability to source these ingredients as well as quinoa, amaranth, chia, and other organic and conventional products. The new process delivers a 5-log kill without the use of chemicals and with only a “flash” of steam and short dwell time thanks to a deep vacuum environment. Specialty Food Ingredients, www.specialty-ingredients.com, Booth 2185

Corn flour, Soulmaize, features new flavors in white, yellow, blue, red, and purple corn-based flour. Organic, non-GMO, or conventional varieties are offered. Soulmaize is gluten-free and whole grain certified. Minsa Corp., www.soulmaize.com, Booth 3313

In This Article

  1. Food Processing & Packaging