Confectionery and bakery breakthroughs recognised at Gulfood

Major industry breakthroughs for confectionery and bakery operations were recognised at the Gulfood Manufacturing Excellence Awards at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The accolade for ‘Most Innovative Health Ingredient’ went to Malaysia’s Bunge Loders Croklaan for its Couva transfat-free, cocoa butter replacer for confectionery and bakeries.

As the show’s organisers noted, the judges were swayed by the nutritional benefits of the product commenting: “Couva is offering a perfect opportunity to deliver no trans-fat and low saturated fat at the same time in confectionery.”

The event was a highlight of this year’s Gulfood Manufacturing, for which Confectionery Production’s parent group Bell Publishing, was a media partner.

In total, companies from six countries including the UK, UAE, Germany, Sweden and Malaysia, were recognised for pushing the boundaries of global food and beverage markets have been honoured at a ceremony held at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

The awards, sponsored by Asia’s leading agribusiness group, Wilmar, covered categories for contributions to the environment, innovative ingredients, packaging and processing solutions, futuristic technology and consumer health, were presented by Gulfood Manufacturing organisers, DWTC at the awards on Tuesday evening. The six winners were selected, by an independent judging panel, from hundreds of submissions.

“The judging process was extremely tough and the shortlisted contenders all demonstrated great innovation,” commented Mark Napier, Show Director, Gulfood Manufacturing. “The judging was conducted in a highly transparent and regulated environment to ensure a fair process throughout and the finalists selected more than matched our criteria of being innovative and original, efficient and cost-effective, health and environmentally conscious and customer centric.”

The award for the ‘Most Innovative Food Ingredient’ went to the Polypan Group of Greece for its Flavomix AX 200, an organic mist washing spray that acts as a powerful, pre-packing natural antioxidant for breads, croissants, biscuits, sauces, dressings, tomato paste and fruit preparations and prevents microbial contamination.

The judges said Flavomix provides considerable “added value, to both process and customer-centric needs where the leaning is towards clean label,” adding that the product aids nutritional benefits, lowering production costs and support food safety compliance.

For its part, the UK’s DC Norris & Company Ltd was the winner of the ‘Most Innovative Processing Solution’ accolade for its Jet Process cooking system, which halves the production times of sauces, dairy products, soups and ready meals, reducing energy costs and waste as a result. It combines a multi-stage production process in one simple stage enabling the simultaneous mixing, heating, pumping and homogenising of ingredients.

The judges were impressed by the system’s productivity yield, process optimisation and food safety benefits declaring jet processing as “the highest efficient process technology with potential fat and salt reductions.”

Stuart Rigby, Product and Process Innovation Manager, DC Norris and Company, said: “It is the second year we have won this type of award. The Jet Process is the future of processing. Besides reducing energy, we’ve now developed a system that reduces salt, fat, etc. It is about making food healthier for everyone, less salt, less fat, less starch, less carbohydrates. The world is getting fatter and this is how we deal with it.”

The ‘Environment Award of The Year’, honouring innovation for sustainable development went to the UAE’s Multivac Middle East FZE for its Multivac PaperBoard packaging concept. The paper fibre-based packaging solution is based on materials for which closed recycling loops already exist with the paper fibre being fed back into the existing recycling loop after use. Even if the material is disposed of in normal packaging waste, rather than in a recycling bin, it can be detected in modern recycling centres, removed and fed into a recycling loop.

The judges said the concept stood out for its “innovation as well as benefits to processors, customers and the environment.”

In addition, Germany’s GEA Food Solutions was the victor in the ‘Top Futuristic Technology’ category for its CookStar with SuperHeatSmoke innovation, which is a patented in-line smoking process, enabling food processors to speedily recreate BBQ magic on an industrial scale. The technology works with purified smoke condensate from which the tar and ashes have been removed, resulting in a clean label and healthier product.

The judges viewed the technology as promoting futuristic innovation from a research and development perspective. Their report credited CookStart with being “a promising convenient and efficient innovation which incorporates a massive paradigm in the method of cooking and smoking,” adding that it will have a “game-changing” effect on the industry.

“This is a great reward for a year-long R&D project and we are the first one in the industry to combine smoking on an in-line spiral. We’ve raised the bar in the industry with this innovation and it is extremely pleasing to be recognised for this innovation,” said Luuc van Lankveld, Sales Steering Food Processing, GEA.

Swedish packaging heavyweight Tetra Pak scooped the ‘Top Packaging Innovation’ honour for its Tetra Classic Aseptic 65ml Cube, which allows for optimal pallet stacking, more efficient distribution and great branding impressions with minimal investment.



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