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Archive for June, 2012

Green banana flour offers gluten-free pasta solutions

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

plantains

From the Foodnavigator website, 25 June:

Flour milled from green bananas could help solve the riddle of how to create cheap yet tasty gluten-free pasta, say researchers.

Writing in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol 112, Issue 7, July 2012, a team of Brazilian researchers reveal that a newly developed gluten-free plasta product – made from green banana flour – may offer a low cost, low fat solution for people who follow a gluten-free diet.

To see the whole story click here.


Supplier brand takes on home brand milk

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

milkFrom the Australian Food News website, 25 June:

A new marketing war has begun between supplier brands and the supermarket homebrands, with a new angle being taken by the suppliers against the homebrand product. A major milk processor is promoting that its milk does not contain a processing by-product that is commonly used as a dilutant in mass-market milk.

Lion Nathan’s dairy division, including the Dairy Farmers brand and Pura Milk brand, has announced that its milk will now be “permeate-free”. The decision to omit this watery substance from their milk aims to give the supplier brands a point of difference against the supermarket homebrands.

Is this a case of karma or come-uppance against the supermarkets? In 2010, the Coles supermarket group ran its own branding campaign with a claim that its meat was “free” of a quality attributed to the produce of its competitors. More particularly, the claim then was that the meat which Coles was selling was all “hormone-free”.

Lion External Relations Director Libby Hay said the decision to go permeate-free for milk was in response to consumer research that found 90% of Australians would choose a less-processed food option if available.

“Some consumers may notice a slight difference in taste, others not,” Ms Hay said.


Garlic helps fight food poisoning

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

indexlogo
From the Australian Food News website,

Researchers at Washington State University have found that an ingredient in garlic is 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics at fighting one of the most common causes of food poisoning.
The researchers say their work, which has been published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, opens the door to new treatments for raw and processed meats and food preparation surfaces.

Dr Xiaonan Lu and his colleagues looked at the ability of a garlic-derived compound, diallyl sulfide, to kill bacterium when it is protected by a slimy biofilm that makes it 1,000 times more resistant to antibiotics than the free floating bacterial cell.
They found the compound can easily penetrate the protective biofilm and kill bacterial cells by combining with a sulfur-containing enzyme, subsequently changing the enzyme’s function and effectively shutting down cell metabolism.

The researchers found the diallyl sulfide was as effective as 100 times as much of the antibiotics erythromycin and ciprofloxacin and often would work in a fraction of the time.
The study’s co-author Dr Michael Konkel said, “This compound has the potential to reduce disease-causing bacteria in the environment and in our food supply. This is the first step in developing or thinking about new intervention strategies.”
Dr Konkel cautioned that the recent work is still at the basic stage, well removed from an actual application. While eating garlic is a generally healthy practice, by itself it is unlikely to prevent Campylobacter-related food poisoning.
Barbara Rasco, Dr Lu’s advisor said, “Diallyl sulfide could make many foods safer to eat. It can be used to clean food preparation surfaces and as a preservative in packaged foods like potato and pasta salads, coleslaw and deli meats.”


Avocado peak body markets health campaign for men

Monday, June 18th, 2012

avocadoesFrom the Australian Food News website, 14 June 2012:

Australian Avocados, the national peak body for avocado producers has launched a public health program designed to encourage men to visit their GP more regularly.

“Most Aussie men will look after their cars better than their bodies, but it is the typical Aussie bloke that is really in need of a tune up,” said Joseph Ebbage, who is the Program Manager for Australian Avocados’ ‘Refer a Dad’ campaign.

To raise awareness about the importance of men’s health and regular checkups Australian Avocados attended the The Sydney General Practitioner Conference & Exhibition (GPCE) last month at Sydney Showground within Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush. The GPCE is Australia’s premier primary care conference and exhibition, bringing together GP’s from around Australia.

See full story on the AFN website here.


Have your say – review of Standards for Regulation of VET – due 13 July 2012

Friday, June 15th, 2012

NSSC_logo

From the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) website, 8 June:

On the 8th of June 2012 the Nationals Skills Standards Council (NSSC) commenced the review of the standards for the regulation of VET.

* The current standards for the regulation of VET have served their purpose in supporting the growth of a dynamic and diverse VET sector that has responded to industry needs for nationally recognised training and qualifications, and has provided access and opportunities to individual learners.

*The standards for the regulation of VET and the associated regulatory approach need to continue to evolve to ensure that current and future RTOs continue to deliver high quality training and assessment services thus ensuring that the reputation of the sector is maintained and that employers and industry continue to value the VET qualifications held by individual students and employees.

* While the NSSC acknowledges that the standards for the regulation of VET, in particular those for RTOs, have been amended a number of times over the past 5-10 years, it is considered timely that a broad ranging review occur, that considers the regulatory standards as a whole.

* The review is broad ranging and encompasses standards for Registered Training Organisations, Data, an VET Regulators. It will consider not just the content of the standards in isolation but importantly also how they are applied, implemented and interpreted in practice

Face to face consultations are being held with federal and state/territory governments, VET regulators, Industry Skill Councils, Peak Bodies and other stakeholders in June and July.

Click here to see full NSSC Review webpage.

AgriFood Skills Australia is making a submission and welcomes input from any industry and training stakeholders. There is a Feedback Form to assist. See contact below to request this.

In order to allow sufficient time to review and consolidate input, please provide your comments to Jeannie Cotterell by COB Friday 6 July 2012.

Jeannie Cotterell
General Manager, Product Development and Implementation
jeannie.cotterell@agrifoodskills.net.au

Phone: 02 6163 7235
Mobile: 0459 981 293


8 Food and Foundries Clean Energy Grants announced

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

boilerFrom the Federal Government Media Release 7 June,

The first 13 grants from the Gillard Government’s $1 billion Clean Technology Investment Programs will help manufacturers reduce their energy bills. The Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, said the initial grants, worth $8.1 million, will help businesses install over $23 million of energy efficient equipment. Five grants from the Clean Technology Investment Program and eight from the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program will support energy saving and pollution projects.

“Projects funded include a new refrigeration system, voltage regulators, more efficient air conditioning and new packaging processes,” Mr Combet said. “The Clean Technology Investment Programs are part of the Federal Government’s plan for a Clean Energy Future. They deliver practical help for businesses to become more efficient, more competitive and more sustainable.”

Mr Combet announced the grants at Crafty Chef, a producer of frozen meals and finger food in Western Sydney. Crafty Chef received a grant of $499,999 to introduce a new freezer system that will reduce its carbon emissions intensity by more than 50 per cent.

“Successful manufacturers range from a specialised engineering firm to the manufacturer of  aluminium cans to wine makers and producers of fresh avocado products,” Mr Combet said.

See full Media Release here.

The list includes Bega Cheese, De Bortoli Wines, Fonterra and other food and beverage manufacturers.


Victorian wins national battle of the best young bakers!

Friday, June 1st, 2012

John Leontiades competition 1From the Grain Growers website, 28 May 2012,

Five of Australia’s best young baking apprentices have  competed for the prestigious L A Judge Award, an annual event  hosted by Grain Growers Limited (“GrainGrowers”) to recognise and encourage excellence in the industry. John Leontiades, 22, from Louttit Bay Bakery in Lorne,  was named the winner at a presentation ceremony in Sydney on Thursday night. He will receive an overseas study tour valued at $3,500.

Representatives from other states were  Tobias Morley (Woolworths Kingston, Tasmania), Jasmine Harris (Bakers Delight, Woodville, South Australia), Geoffrey Brinkley (Woolworths Caloundra, Queensland) and Joshua Patrick Walton (Bushmans Bakery, Lake Cathie, New South Wales). Baking apprentices aged 23 years or less are nominated by their state industry association to compete in the gruelling, three-day competition.

Morten Staer, GrainGrowers bakery consultant and the competition’s chief judge, said the hotly-contested competition  — held at GrainGrowers’ in-house baking facilities  — saw competitors evaluated on practical baking, technical knowledge and communication.

Click here to read whole story.

John’s apprenticeship has been conducted with South West Institute of TAFE, under Baking Department coordinator, Jason Bidmade. The Victorian Baking Training Network was actively engaged in the state-wide selection process for the best apprentice to compete in the LA Judge.  Many trainers from other TAFEs gave their time and expertise to help prepare John.

The VFITB commends this training sector for its commitment to training excellence and developing the next generation of industry specialists. This LA Judge win is testament to their dedication and passion, and of course, to John’s outstanding abilities and vision.


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