Our picks from the FoodNZ Archive


John Lawson, Lawson Williams Consulting Group

The careers experts at Lawson Williams Consulting continue to offer tips, tricks and advice on building your chosen career.

I recently spoke at the NZIFST conference. My topic was What employers are looking for in Graduates in 2015.

It is interesting to ask the same question for not only graduates but all employees.


Employers want a lot when looking for employees in 2015 … they want what they call Talent.

But why? The answer is we live in a V U C A. world.

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Something old, something new:- Hurdle technology

- a marriage of preservation techniques

L. McIntyre and J. A. Hudson

Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) Ltd., Christchurch Science Centre, PO Box 29-181, Christchurch 8540

In 2007, Food New Zealand published a review on existing and novel strategies for the biocontrol of foodborne bacteria [22]. In that article we discussed the utility of various biological approaches such as bacteriophages and protective cultures to increase the safety and extend the shelf life of foods. In most cases, these do not in themselves offer a complete food safety solution; hence their application in combination with other preservation options (the hurdle technology concept) holds greater potential. What follows here is a review of this food preservation area and an update on some of the more recent findings published in the literature.


The term hurdle technology was first coined by Leistner in 1978 to describe "the deliberate combination of existing and novel preservation techniques in order to establish a series of preservative factors (hurdles) that any microorganism present should not be able to overcome".

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Heavy metals in seafood – what is the risk to the consumer?

Ian C Shaw, Professor of Toxicology, University of Canterbury

This article is based on a lecture given at the 8th Annual Plant & Food Research Seafood Processing & Preservation Workshop, Nelson, New Zealand, March 2012.


Where do heavy metals come from? Heavy metals, including mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) are present in the earth’s crust and leach out into the terrestrial and aquatic environments, albeit at very low concentrations More....

NZIFST J C Andrews Award Address 2016  – Earning More in the Meat Industry

Rob Archibald

The Meat Industry today

In the last 5 years we have seen an unprecedented conversion of land to dairying. This means three things for the meat industry 1) less land for sheep and beef farming. 2) more manufacturing meat and meat by-products from manufacturing animals such as cull cows, bobby calves, and dairy bulls. 3) beef & sheep farmers wanting more for each animal to stay in the meat business.

With limits on the available land the Meat Industry can’t produce more – so it needs to earn more from what it produces. Farmers and the country as a whole spend a huge amount both economically and ecologically raising animals so we just have to earn more from them.


Are my business risks really what I think they are?

Jane Lancaster MNZIFST, and Dennis Thomas, FNZIFST, Catalyst® Ltd

We reap many benefits from the globalisation of food products. For one, our diets have grown more diverse now that we can buy foods that originate from all around the world. But there are downsides too. When you haven't grown or slaughtered your own dinner, you can't be sure how it was grown or where it's been. We have to rely on companies and government oversight to make sure what we're eating is safe and appropriately labelled.

Is food safer than it used to be?




BENEO offers naturally-sourced functional ingredients that are derived from the chicory root, sugar beet, rice and wheat. Providing nutritional and technical benefits, these ingredients enable food manufacturers to produce healthier products. From an physiological point of view they enhance weight control, digestive, bone and dental health and help balance energy levels to the benefit of mental & physical performance. In addition, they improve the taste and texture of food and beverages and allow for the use of an on-pack clean label as well as various health claims.


This creates new opportunities to develop foods and drinks that are non-cariogenic, gluten- and lactose-free, prebiotic, fat and sugar-reduced, non-GMO, natural and more. Being highly versatile, BENEO’s ingredients can be applied in a wide variety of recipes for dairy, confectionery, bakery, cereals, soups & sauces, meat & vegetables, baby food and beverages.


Contact our experts and enquire about bespoke recipes, concept development and market insights in order to stay ahead of global or local market trends. Contact information here




The low-down on Health Claims and Health Star Rating for oils and fats

Anny Dentener-Boswell, FNZIFST, ADECRON Food Tech Consulting

How do the health claim changes in the food regulations and the new health star ratings (HSR) impact oils and fats?

Health star ratings are progressively appearing on labels as the supermarkets label their own-brand products with it. So will your product stand out by not declaring its HSR?

Not all oils are what they seem

There is a wide range of choices on “healthiness” from the lowest ½ star for salted butter up to the highest 4 ½ stars for hazelnut and canola oils and lots of choices in between. See table and read more here

Dos and Don’ts of a brilliant CV

Part 1 of a 2 part series: For new Graduates

John Lawson, Lawson Williams Consulting Group


Most of us have a CV and therefore will know it’s not an easy document to create. An interesting statistic is that an estimated 40% of all CVs are not entirely factual.


A significant number of people don’t understand the purpose of a CV and therefore don’t achieve the response they hope for. As a recruitment solutions business, operating for 25 years in the New Zealand market we have read a few CVs and the following are some pointers for graduates. We know there are many opinions on CV content so this is by no means an exhaustive list.

Read more here

Frying oils: selection, smoke points and potential deleterious effects for health

Laurence Eyres, FNZIFST


Frying is a complex, high temperature process with many reactions of hydrolysis, oxidation and polymerisation occurring during the frying life of the oil with resultant effects on the fried food with respect to texture, taste, shelf-life and nutritional properties.

The specifications, functional requirements and supply conditions for the industrial food market are far more rigorous and demanding than for the retail market. Some specialty oils supplied to the industry are not available at retail.


Sanfords – leading the way in fish by-product research

Dave Pooch, FNZIFST


"Sanford used to be a traditional fishing company. They harvested the fish then sold it.

They used to do value added products by changing the presentation. Now, they are a truly innovative seafood company and focus on fresh,” said Dr Sabrina Tian when I met her at Sanfords a little before Christmas.


Assuring water quality and safety in food processing

Most of us take water for granted, thanks to improvements in public health over the past century.

As food producers and processors, we require good quality water for a range of operations, including washing, blending or mixing, cleaning, ice making, steam production and product transportation in-process. To assure food safety, we must operate within a framework based upon sound science that ensures water quality in process, and optimises its use.

Water as an ingredient poses the biggest challenge in terms of quality and purity.


The Cloud – A fresh approach to modernising your IT

Consumer tastes are continually evolving. Never before has there been a greater consciousness of what's in the products we eat, how they are processed and preserved, and the sources of their ingredients. Frankly, consumers are taking a fresh look at what they're eating, and it’s the companies that can meet these expectations which are seeing results in the form of increased sales.


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Mathematical Modelling as a tool to inform packaging design

Eli Gray-Stuart, Massey University, School of Engineering and Advanced Technology

Twitter: @Eli_Gray-Stuart

Developing mathematical models is a great way to further our understanding of different systems and processes.

Mathematical modelling offers great flexibility and the potential to explore various permutations of a problem.

Our modelling work has covered many industrially relevant packaging applications; from the humble corrugated fibreboard box, which has been a main stay of packaging for decades, to work on “active packaging” which is still an emerging technology.