RIPE FOR THE PICKING 6 JULY 2017 NEWS SNIPS Wellington’s Pomegranate Kitchen catering enterprise using former refugees as cooks has a new kitchen at Mojo Coffee, two more cooks and two new board members Tim Adams of Obsidian has taken out the 2017 Bayer Auckland/ Northern young viticulturalist of the year for the second year in a row New Zealand School of Food & Wine in Auckland invites those interested in the latest food trends to check out its three-day ‘open home’ from August 19 to 21 Genetics, and how it relates to people’s nutrition, exercise and health is an absolute game changer when it comes to Kiwis improving their lives, New Zealand exercise expert Richard Beddie says New World, PAK’nSAVE and Four Square supermarkets will be ‘microbeadfree’ from this month, a year ahead of schedule as mandated by the Government LATIN AMERICA OPEN FOR BUSINESS Food and beverage sector players will be offered great potential for increased trade and a welcome sign of commitment to open markets in Latin America, New Zealand International Business Forum executive director Stephen Jacobi says in the wake of a Pacific Alliance Summit announcement that New Zealand will enter FTA negotiations with Mexico, Chile, Columbia and Peru. “The Pacific Alliance is an open and outward-looking group of economies, Jacobi says. “Two-way trade already stands at $1.1 billion and these new negotiations have real potential to open up new opportunities across the Pacific for our food and beverage industry, services exporters and other sectors such as high-tech manufacturing. What’s more, three of the four Pacific Alliance members are partners in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the fourth member, Colombia, is an ideal candidate for future membership of TPP.” Under its ‘Trade Agenda 2030’, the New Zealand Government has set an ambitious goal to ensure FTAs cover 90% of goods trade, and Jacobi says this is not only a valuable strategic step but a sign of New Zealand’s commitment to open markets. N E W S It’s that perennial problem – how fresh IS that piece of fruit you are contemplating buying from the supermarket? Up until now, you’d have to squeeze and prod to make up your mind, but no more. American scientists have found a quick and reliable way to test the freshness of oranges and other fruit in grocers’ produce sections…all starting with a small strip of coated fabric originally developed at Florida International University for testing blood, urine and environmental samples. Invented by University Provost and executive vice president Kenneth Furton and chemistry researcher Abuzar Kabir, the fabric can soak up the chemical compounds in the juice of an orange that show the ripeness – or freshness – of it. “Everyone likes to advertise that they have the freshest fruit, but how long has that orange been sitting there?” Kabir says. “We used the orange as a model, and now we can use this method to test the freshness of other fruit or any food that has a potential to degrade.” Furton and Kabir became curious about using the coated fabric on fruit because they wanted to see whether it could provide the sensitivity required to pick up changes in the compounds that are used to detect the ripening cycle of fruits. “Because oranges have high juice content,” Furton says, “they are more prone to spoiling, and changes in freshness impacts the quality and taste of their juices. Growers may also use this method to decide how quickly they need to get their crop to market or to use packaging that might slow the ripening process in order to keep fruit from reaching their peak before purchase.” KIWI FOOD / BEVERAGE ENTREPRENEURS HIT SOUTH EAST ASIA One of the world’s most widely used forms of packaging – the blister pack – can now be made totally in paperboard, reducing environmental impact, consumer rage and self-injury. The packs are made to hang on a holder in a retail store and often consist of a paperboard backing plus a moulded transparent plastic front section to display the product to the consumer, which can be hard to open. Now, Norwegian company Moltzaus has replaced the plastic with Cefapacs, which use paperboard using perforations instead of traditional creases. Designer Eirik Faukland says he has been warmly praised by Swedish and Norwegian Rheumatism Associations for his more easily opened form of packaging.
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