News briefs: Diamant additive, dicing equipment enhancement and software acquisition

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Polyethylene terephthalate

Diamant evaluates its bottling additive this month, while MPE announces an upgrade of its dicing machinery and APS Technologies announces acquisitions of other food and drink software suppliers.

Test run of new bottling additive

Diamant Corporation said that its subsidiary, Bio-Plastics Film, is testing its new oxo-biodegradable additive with PET (polyethylene terephthalate) resin this month with an undisclosed bottling company.

The company said that its iron-based additive helps to break down the plastic material, leaving only water, carbon dioxide and environmentally safe biomass.

According to Diamant, its proprietary biodegrading additive will be blended with 5,000 lbs of resin for a full scale evaluation.

“This formulation will produce in the range of 12,000 bottles, which should prove sufficient for this test run, where the bottles are being evaluated by accelerated bio-exposure and then sent to a recycling facility so they can be re-cycled back into regrind PET resin,” ​said the company.

Diamant said the additive is comprised of FDA approved ingredients, Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS), for food contact applications.

PET plastic containers are now being used to package a range of shelf-stable products, including salsas, barbecue sauces and jams as well as bottled beverages such as sodas and water.

Regulatory and consumer pressure to reduce the impact of packaging waste has been forcing processors to seek more environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Diamant said that rendering PET plastic bottles biodegradable​ would contribute to solving the plastic waste problem in the US and provide companies with an effective and economical way of disposing of single plastic products.

According to the company, initial results from research undertaken in Europe on the additive have indicated that it will work to degrade PET plastic bottles.

Granuliser enhanced for higher efficiency

Modern Process Equipment (MPE) said that it has modified its Model 900 Frozen Food Gran-U-Lizer to improve efficiency and to ensure all its components are stainless steel and thus GMP compliant.

“When new materials, designs or technologies become available, we re-evaluate our current equipment and make any necessary changes that we believe will enhance performance and final product quality,”​ said MPE spokesperson Lizzie Ephraim.

She said the Gran-U-Lizer is designed to reduce friable and frozen products to narrow particle size distributions and, thereby, help eliminate unwanted ‘fines’.

The equipment reduces food products such as frozen egg yolk patties to uniform particle size suitable for diced egg product applications, reducing the amount of sifting required, the company claims.

Ephraim said that the Gran-U-Lizer is built for high volume applications that require little or no tolerance for off-spec material. She said that it can handle up to 5,000 lbs per hour and prevents contamination of product through its no impact method, while producing an on-target grind distribution.

“It conserves energy by generating little heat during the process and the clean out is simple, thus eliminating downtime,”​ she claims.

According to Ephraim, minimum maintenance is required on the equipment and MPE can recondition machinery to ‘as new’ condition on demand.

Food and drink sector software firm in acquisitions

AFS Technologies (AFS), the provider of software systems for the food and beverage industry, has announced the acquisition of IRM Corporation, a supplier of manufacturing, processing, and distribution IT systems as well as Motek Information Systems, a maker of warehouse management software.

'The acquisition of IRM will enable AFS to bring even greater value to our combined customers in the food and beverage channel by further enhancing the functionality and utility of our diverse portfolio of best-of-class solutions,'​ said Kurien Jacob, CEO of AFS Technologies.

“The acquisition of Motek allows AFS to further enhance its presence in the warehouse management…space,”​ he added.

AFS​ claims its suite of software for the food and drink sector is based on service oriented architecture (SOA​) and Microsoft's.NET Framework 2.0 to provide greater integration with a plant and head office systems.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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