Our picks from the recent FoodNZ issues


FIET Reports from FoodNZ

Download pdf files.

Beware the ongoing cost of owning a pilot plant 

A pilot plant facility gobbles money forever. Make sure you have deep pockets.
Professor Richard Archer, Massey University

Now that the NZ Food Innovation Network has operated for a few years, we know what it costs to own and operate pilot plant. This is timely as regions eye regional development money and imagine shiny new facilities.


Sanford Planning to Sell Majority of Pelagic Business to Tauranga Based Family Company

New Zealand seafood company Sanford (SAN) has announced it has a conditional agreement to sell its Tauranga based pelagic business to local company Pelco NZ Ltd.
The assets included are three purse seine fishing vessels, processing equipment and pelagic quota in Fisheries Management Area 1.
The quota sale reduces Sanford’s overall quota holding under New Zealand’s Quota Management System from around 22% to approximately 19% of the total volume available for commercial catch. In value terms, the sale of quota represents 3.75% of the company’s quota book value. 
A number of jobs in Tauranga are potentially affected by the transition, but Sanford CEO Volker Kuntzsch says the company is working to minimise the impact on jobs.
“We know that if the assets are transferred, Pelco will be looking to hire staff or contract fishers who can support the business. This is a significant consideration for us, as is our view that Pelco is a well-run family company with values similar to ours. We have dealt with them for many years and have always found them to operate with utmost integrity.”
Pelco founder and Managing Director Andy Rolleston says he is delighted to be potentially expanding Pelco’s business in a way he believes will bring significant benefit to the Bay of Plenty economy and to New Zealand’s commercial fishing industry.
“We are a pelagic focused team and this is a great opportunity for us to grow. If this sale is agreed, we’re confident we’ll be able to do that while fishing sustainably, which is very important to us and Sanford. We have worked with them for many years and know their people well. If the sale is confirmed, we would hope to have positions to offer and would like to be able to welcome former Sanford staff who share our values.”

Mr Kuntzsch says the potential sale is a logical fit with Sanford’s strategy of focusing on value.

“Strategically, we are concentrating on areas that lend themselves to consumer-centric innovation and branding, while Pelco will benefit from economies of scale. We believe that if this deal goes ahead, it will create more value for both companies and New Zealand as a whole. It then frees up capital to allow us to invest in areas that are a stronger strategic fit.”

An announcement confirming the sale or otherwise is expected in a matter of weeks.

HSR fibre reformulations – any benefits?
Are HSR driven changes to fibre content likely to improve health?

Authors: Anna Worthington, Student,* Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Professor*, Helen Eyles, Senior Research Fellow* *National Institute for Health Innovation, University of Auckland



The Health Star Rating (HSR) system provides an incentive to industry to reformulate their products to increase the star rating and appeal to consumers (1). Dietary fibre, one of the nutrients in the HSR score, is known to have a positive relationship with health through improved bowel motions, reduction in blood cholesterol, and/ or modulation of blood glucose(2). However, there is a perception that functional fibre ingredients added to processed foods are not as beneficial for health as naturally occurring dietary fibres.

Read More



BENEO’s chicory fibres - Orafti® Inulin and Oligofructose

Chicory was cultivated thousands of years ago by Egyptians as a medicinal plant due to its high concentration of inulin. BENEO’s Orafti® Inulin and Oligofructose are derived though a gentle hot water extraction from the chicory plant and are used by food manufacturers worldwide to replace sugar and fats while boosting fibre content. This can have a range of health benefits for all consumers, including children.

Learn more

Invita New Zealand is the partner for BENEO products. Find out more at


Rapid freezing for storage of sheep milk

Authors: Prof Richard Archer, Prof Mohammed Farid, Jolin Morel, Dr Georg Ripberger, FIET

It has been said that New Zealand’s prosperity was “built off the

sheep’s back”, but in recent years Bovine, ie cow Dairy has become

New Zealand’s largest agricultural earner.

Traditionally, the sheep industry in New Zealand has focused on the

production of meat and wool. In recent years however, a small but

rapidly growing sheep dairy industry has developed. The sheep dairy

industry produces a high value product, with a wide range of possible


In order to support the growth of this industry, a small team of

researchers from Massey University (MU), The University of Auckland

(UA) and GNS Science (GNS) are working to develop a rapid freezer

suitable for use on sheep farms, to allow raw sheep milk to be

stored for long periods without a loss of product quality.


Read more

Heart Foundation Reformulation targets making a difference

An additional focus – sugar

This year marks an important milestone for the Heart Foundation and its work with food companies to reduce sodium levels. Ten years ago, the Heart Foundation started working with food industry to set sodium reduction targets for loaf bread. The 2007 pilot was a success with major companies achieving 18% sodium reductions in one year in many packaged loaf breads.

Since 2010 the programme has been extended to 14 core food categories and more recently, has also focused on setting sugar reduction targets.


NZIFST 2017 J C Andrews Award address

– A game of two halves

Roy Biggs


Following is Roy Biggs address presented at the NZIFST Conference as the recipient of the 2017 J C Andrews Award. This award celebrates the achievements of Dr John Clark Andrews as the catalyst to the setting up of the Massey University Food Technology degree.


Thank you to the NZIFST for the J C Andrews award and I am very conscious of the great honour paid to me. To use a sporting analogy my career in the food industry has been one of two halves in more than one way:

  • Half in the UK and half in NZ
  • Half in production, factory and company management, the other half in technical management
  • Half in the dairy industry (mainly cheese), half in the processing arm of the intensive farming sector – salmon and poultry

Blessed are the Cheesemakers

(Monty Python – Life of Brian)

I started work on the 1st August 1970 as a management trainee for the Milk Marketing Board (MMB) of England and Wales

Continue reading

Flaxseed (Linseed) fibre – nutritional and culinary uses – a review

Laurence Eyres FNZIFST, Mike Eyres BV&O


Flax (Linum usitassimum) has a long history of use as a food, medicine, and textile fibre. The Latin name means “very useful”. Hippocrates used flax to treat abdominal pain. Originally cultivated in Mesopotamia, the use of flax has been documented as far back as 3000 BC (Cunnane & Thompson, 1995). This Flax differs in genera from the native New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax and Phormium cookianum) which was given the common name “flax” by settlers in reference to its use as a source of fibre for weaving (Cooper & Cambie, 1991). The seeds from the two genera differ markedly in their appearance, chemical composition, and use. Several companies produce flaxseed in the Canterbury region from Linum usitassimum and their websites are given at the end of this paper.

Continue reading

Miraka Dairy Factory - a unique development 

Dave Pooch, FNZIFST


Tapping into geothermal energy, whanau owned and supported by Vietnam Dairy Products, Miraka Dairy Company embodies the vision of taking family owned dairy farms into the global market. The plant has the power and capacity to process more than 250,000,000 litres of milk into powders and UHT products every year.

Continue reading

Gut bacteria: feeding our friends within

Katrina Pace, Registered Dietitian

This article is courtesy of the Nutrition Foundation 


Microbiota – what, where and why?

Let’s start at the beginning with a few basics: ‘Microbiota’ is the new name for what we used to call “gut flora”. Although in layman's terms we often use the phrase “gut bacteria”, the term microbiota encompasses more than just bacteria. It includes bacteria, yeast, fungi and viruses: all found in our bodies. For ease in this article, we will just refer to bacteria as they make up the largest proportion of microbiota.

Read more

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".

Continue reading

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.


Using Moisture Sorption Isotherms in food engineering

Water profoundly influences product attributes such as quality and safety. To completely understand water effects in a product requires an understanding of the amount of water (moisture content) that can be held at a given energy state (water activity). Moisture sorption isotherms describe the relationship between water activity and moisture content at a constant temperature. The nature of this relationship depends

on the interaction between water and other ingredients. The amount of water vapour that can be absorbed by a product depends on its chemical composition, physical-chemical state, and physical structure. Consequently, the isotherm shape is unique to each product type due to differences in capillary, surface, and colligative effects.


Continue Reading



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

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.


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.


Read more..