Of seven local products that progressed to the finals, four garnered awards, having been evaluated by an international team of nine judges; and awards were made in three categories.
In the Product and/or Process Innovation category (that includes the industrialisation of traditional foods) a local winner was Port Elizabeth-based Dynamic Commodities’ Bits o’ Juice. Pure lemon pods, conveniently presented, can be applied to any food without the limitations of a lemon wedge. The company pioneered the process of separating the peel, membrane and segment pulp of citrus fruit, after which the segments are cryogenically frozen and shaken into individual citrus cells.
‘Everyone who has sampled Bits o’ Juice (including international judges at Taste 09 Anuga 2009, Sial d’Or 2010 and the IUFoST Global Food awards 2010) agrees that our product is a convenient substitute for lemon wedges and juice. This award, with its international media exposure, will definitely create awareness of a convenient, innovative way to present an all-natural lemon. Our IUFoST trophy will be on display at the 2010 Sial International Food Show and we hope to attract the attention of distributers worldwide,’ comments Manie Maritz, Dynamic Commodities’ MD.
The Packaging Innovation category netted two South African winners – both from the Astrapak stable.Nestlé’s Cremora dual tamper-evident closure and container was recognised for removing the need for an internal hermetic seal, allowing the packaging to ‘breathe’ and adjust to varying altitudes without panelling. This packaging design from Astrapak’s Cinqplast-Plastop operation brings huge advantages for both Nestlé and consumers (PPM Mar10 p17).The tamper-evident spout not only offers consumer protection, it also eliminates the need for an internal hermetic seal, thus reducing costs and making the product easier to open and use. The spout also permits easy product delivery, eliminates the need for a spoon, and is recloseable. Finally, the tamper-evident neck-band provides extra pilferproof security.
The other South African packaging winner was Knilam’s Nouvelle Mushrooms’ macro-permeable, block-bottom FreshWorks bag that works in tandem with an outer box (which, incidentally, also received a Gold Pack Award last year). As exotic mushrooms have a very short shelf life, owing to dehydration and bacterial growth, this bag regulates the optimum humidity balance inside the sealed bag. It eliminates residual moisture, while retaining the product’s inherent moisture, extending product shelf life by 30% and reducing product wastage by 50%.
‘Astrapak is extremely proud of these awards, particularly in light of the high standard of the various packaging submissions, not only from within South Africa but from around the world. Both the Cremora container and the mushroom bag are the culmination of many years of development and set the benchmark for what we strive to achieve with our packaging,’ comments Charles Muller, Astrapak’s group marketing director.
In the category Communicating Science-Related Knowledge to Consumers (aimed at improving consumer lifestyle), Unilever South Africa came out tops with its Flora Test the Nation campaign that focused on high blood cholesterol. The campaign was partnered by a major retailer and was credible through involvement with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. ‘The campaign set out to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease in South Africa by combining a value-for-money, medium-fat spread with a free cholesterol test and heart-health education. Rather than being a marketing exercise, this was seen as an opportunity to educate South Africans to love their hearts. The success of the campaign is a win for us, and the global award recognising this achievement is the cherry on the top,’ comments Christine Broadhurst, consumer affairs manager at Unilever South Africa.
THE President’s Awards, a new category at the IUFoST Global Food Industry Awards, recognises efforts to advance food science and technology for the benefit of all.
‘We recognise the application of modern science and technology to sustain and develop traditional foods, to bring them to a wider number of consumers, while maintaining the character and benefits of the original traditional food product,’ explains Geoffrey Campbell-Platt, IUFoST president. Companies that received the 2010 President’s Awards were:
- Cargill for its food safety leadership and collaboration, commitment to improving access to food and to ensuring food safety through education.
- JDB Group for applying modern process technology and modern packaging to a traditional herbal health drink, making it available to a wide population of consumers.
- Nestlé for providing world leadership in quality, safe, nutritious food products to people worldwide, for encouraging and sponsoring young scientists and supporting food-safety education.
- Beijing Air Catering Company for its commitment to improving dissemination of food safety information, through support of IUFoST initiatives in Beijing and at the World Expo in Shanghai.
- Almond Board of California for its leadership in encouraging young scientists and student exchange and education, and for its promotion of and support for food safety efforts around the world.
- Mengniu Dairy Group for the development of a digestible yoghurt in an environmentally-friendly, recyclable, paper-based package.