CHOCOLATE TREAT A HIT Cadbury New Zealand’s temporary relaunch of Caramilk – first available in 1994 – has been an unprecedented success here and in Australia for the company, with desperate Aussie Caramilk lovers paying upwards of $NZ42.50 for one $NZ3 block on Ebay. The limited edition relaunch has also spurred a petition over the ditch for the chocolate – a solid bar made of blended caramelised white chocolate – to be made available again in Australia, with petition founder Trent O’Toole saying, “Cadbury New Zealand have struck gold while many Aussie men-children like myself look on through tears of jealousy. After a night crying in my sleep as I lay in a foetal position, I woke up with a newfound purpose. It’s time for Cadbury Australia to sit up and take notice!” The chocolate, made by cooking milk and sugar together and blending it with cocoa butter - has been available for a month, after a successful five-year Facebook campaign by Caramilk lovers. It has now sold out across the country. The launch coincided with the company calling on local manufacturers to take over production of Jaffas, Pineapple Lumps, Buzz Bars and other Kiwi treats, as manufacturing at the Dunedin Cadbury plant will finish next year. MILK CONFIDENCE Synlait Milk and the a2 Milk Company are confident with progress into their application to export a2 Platinum infant formula to China from the start of next year. The China Food and Drug Administration has announced that 30 brands from 22 infant formula factories owned by 14 manufacturing companies have been approved. The two companies understand these initial approvals reflect some of the first dossier applications received by the CFDA from other manufacturers in early 2017. Both companies are confident that Synlait’s registration application with CFDA will progress as expected. The registration will ensure that direct exports to China of a2MC’s China label infant formula products, which currently comprise 8% of a2MC’s total infant formula sales, can continue from January next year WHEN IS CHICKEN NOT CHICKEN New Zealand food research and development will be firmly profiled on a global stage when a new product that turns pea protein into chicken chunks is released onto the market in November. Start-up company Sunfed Meats – headed by Auckland founder and chief executive Sharma Sukul Lee – has already attracted $1.2 million in international angel investment from United States and English investors for its plant-based chicken product made from yellow peas imported from Canada. The ‘chicken’ which tastes and cooks like real chicken with an authentic texture and 20-day chilled shelf life, is made of protein with more iron content than real chicken and gets some of its authentic taste from natural yeast ingredients. “I’m really a fussy eater, so I wanted something I would eat myself,” the former software programmer says. The “analogue meat” will be launched in Auckland at Farro Fresh stores, and will be followed by products that look and taste like beef, lamb and pork. Lee says producing meat from animals is costly and inefficient, uses too much water, holds risks with foodborne illnesses and pathogens, and doesn’t cater easily for consumer requirements such as Halal. About five times the amount of chicken can be produced from a pea-growing site, than if birds produced the meat, it is affordable, adaptable and the most popular meat in the world. The pledged money will go towards the first plant-based meat processing facility in Australasia, and the product has recently been successfully trialled by partners in food service, fast food and retail outlets. Lee and partner Hayden Lee mortgaged their home to get them through the first phase of the start-up, and believe the product will suit a wider market than just vegans and vegetarians. Start-ups in high protein meat bypassing animals are drawing in investors overseas, with more than $120 million raised in other ventures around the world. www.sunfedfoods.com PLASTIC FANTASTIC NEWS A plastics processing facility in Lower Hutt now has the capacity to turn more than 200 million plastic drink bottles a year into high grade food-safe packaging, thanks to a $4 million Government grant. Environment minister Dr Nick Smith says Flight Plastics is an important part of the programme to build New Zealand’s recycling infrastructure, as the need for recycling plastics like fruit and vegetable punnets becomes critical. “The significance of this project and the Government’s $4 million investment is for the first time having the capacity to recycle polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic into food safe packaging. This high-tech, onshore recycling solution will mean greater employment in New Zealand, less energy used in transport and a reduction in the importation of virgin PET plastics for manufacturing,” Smith says. “China recently announced a ban on importing waste and recyclables from other countries, including New Zealand. This will reduce end markets for our recyclables, and makes it even more important that we are able to recycle on shore.” Flight Plastics will be able to recycle 6000 to 8000 tonnes of PET plastic collected for recycling each year in New Zealand. The Waste Minimisation Fund provides financial support to projects that reduce environmental harm and provide social, economic and cultural benefits. More than $80 million has been awarded to more than 130 projects to date.
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