Rabu, April 22, 2009

Food grade polypropylene may be on the horizon

By staff reporter, 20-Apr-2009

Related topics: Packaging

A research project that aims to ascertain the feasibility of recycling polypropylene (PP) into food grade packaging is underway in the UK.

The UK government funded Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which is charged with ensuring that the UK meets EU requirements on reducing waste, said the new scoping study will be conducted by Axion Consulting, in partnership with Greenstar WES, Fraunhofer IVV and Pira Consulting.

PP makes up a significant proportion of plastic food packaging including yoghurt pots, margarine tubs and sauce bottles; WRAP claims that the ultimate objective of this project is to develop a process to enable PP to be recycled and thus make it a more sustainable type of packaging.

High density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles are increasingly recycled back into new plastic bottles and into food grade packaging too, but the infrastructure to recycle PP into food grade packaging does not exist, even though it is regularly recycled into industry plastics application such as buckets and pallets.

According to Axion Consulting, the study will test whether the food grade HDPE recycling process already in existence can be used to recycle PP so that it meets food grade standards.

Demanding process

Paul Davidson, special advisor on plastics at WRAP said that the agency recognises that retailers, brand owners and packaging companies all want PP to be available for food grade packaging:

"However with its many different grades and colours used in packaging, developing such a process will be demanding. We are pleased to be working with experts in this area to help scope this work, and enable the industry as a whole to move towards more sustainable packaging."

The scoping study ends in August, said WRAP, with its findings set to be published in the autumn.

Supply restrictions

However, according to the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA), while a drive for greener packaging is ensuring a rapid demand increase for recycled materials in products, the supply currently remains limited for materials such as recycled PET (rPET).

And BSDA spokesperson Liz Bastone claims that governments have to do more to do to ensure the use of recycled packaging remains viable.

"It is essential that recycling rates grow and as part of the BSDA's sustainability strategy, the industry is keen to work with national and local government to further improve kerbside recycling schemes and recycling infrastructure," Bastone stated. "Clear, simple and consistent schemes will encourage consumers to recycle and will improve collection rates."



Senin, April 20, 2009

Penyuluhan pembuatan Bioarang dari Daun Tebu oleh TIM PKM UB

TIM PKM Fakultas Teknologi Pertanian UB kemarin, Minggu, 19 April 2009 mengadakan penyuluhan tentang pembuatan bioarang dari daun tebu di desa Sukonolo Bululawang Malang. TIM didampingi oleh pembimbing (Nur Hidayat) dan dihadiri oleh aparat dan warga. Antusias warga cukup tinggi karena memang disana merupakan daerah penghasil tebu.
Selama penyuluhan juga diputarkan video tentang materi yang sama.
penyuluhan tentang anlisis biaya produksi akan dibeikan dua minggu lagi, kemungkinan warga akan lebih banyak yang hadir.
selamat ya mbak dan mas, dan siapkan diri lebih baik untuk penyuluhan mendatang.

Rabu, April 15, 2009

‘Great potential’ of probiotic ice-cream

By Stephen Daniells, 08-Apr-2009

Related topics: Probiotics, Research, Probiotics and prebiotics

Ice-cream as a vehicle for delivering probiotic strains has 'great potential', giving a health boost without affecting the sensory profile of ice-cream, say Brazilian scientists.

But the products must be backed up by the science and accompanied by consumer education to change eating habits of ice-cream from an occasional to a frequently consumed food, according to a new review published in Food Research International.

"The incorporation of probiotic bacteria into ice-creams is highly advantageous since, in addition to being a rich food from the nutritional point of view, containing dairy raw material, vitamins and minerals in its composition, it is usually consumed by everybody, being well accepted by the public," wrote the reviewers, led by Adriano Cruz from Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Sao Paulo.

"In the specific case of probiotic ice-cream, this is a concrete challenge as, most of the times, ice-cream is not consumed daily by most of the consumers, and this frozen dessert is more frequently consumed during the summer in most of the countries, and it is hence considered as an occasional food."

The review was welcomed as "timely" by probiotic expert Professor Gregor Reid from the Canadian R&D Centre for Probiotics at the Lawson Health Research Institute, and The University of Western Ontario.

"In the end, I suspect it will not give more than other delivery vehicles, just an alternative source for consumers," Prof Reid told NutraIngredients.com..

Technological issues

Successful formulation of probiotic ice-cream is dependent on overcoming certain technical challenges.

According to the reviewers, frozen products like ice-cream present particular challenges, such as the beating in of air - known as overrun. There is also the issue of storage under freezing temperatures, which would affect the viability of the strains over time.

Additional issues to be considered by formulators is which strain to use, how and when the bacterial inoculum is added to the product, in what quantities, as well as the choice of other ingredients, "especially any fruit pulp/juice, which will give the final flavor to the product", wrote Cruz and his colleagues.

Confirming the finished product is probiotic

"Even though several studies have shown adequate viability of the probiotic cultures during storage of ice-creams, more clinical studies on the consumption of probiotic ice-creams are recommended," wrote Dr Cruz and his colleagues.

"Also, it is important to confirm if, after long storage periods, the probiotic cultures are still able to confer the same health benefits already observed in other foods with shorter shelf-lives and higher storage temperatures, such as yoghurts and fermented milks."

Professor Reid agree, telling this website: "Key issues [of delivering a probiotic ice cream] will be reproducibility of the viable count, calculating what a single dose is and proving that such a dose confers specific health benefits," said Prof Reid.

Already on the market

A scan of Mintel's New Products Database reveals there were 35 probiotic frozen dessert launches between 2006 and summer 2008 in countries such as Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Columbia, India and China.

Indian company Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation launched two probiotic ice creams - Amul Sugar Free Probiotic Frozen Dessert and Amul Prolife Probiotic Wellness Ice Cream - in 2007 with the former targeting diabetics and the latter being sold on a broader wellness platform.

Unilever, the world's biggest ice cream maker, added an iced lolly containing probiotic bacteria to its Walls Milk Time range, and is aimed at children in the UK.

In Latin America, Chr Hansen has developed a probiotic ice cream with a Costa Rican ice cream producer. Euromonitor predicted Unilever, which is also the Latin American market leader, would not be far behind.

Professor Reid noted that "a so-called probiotic yogurt ice cream" is already on the market in Canada, "which states that 'probiotics reduce the risk of cancer'", he said.

"Whatever the claims made directly or indirectly, companies will need to do the human studies to verify them," said Prof Reid.

Source: Food Research International

Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2009.03.020
"Ice-cream as a Probiotic Food Carrier"
Authors: A.G. Cruz, A.E.C. Antunes, A.O.P. Sousa, J.A.F. Faria, S.M.I. Saad

Selasa, April 14, 2009

Edible carrageenan films enhance flavour encapsulation

By Stephen Daniells, 08-Apr-2009

Related topics: Science & Nutrition

Combining fat and iota- carrageenans could form edible films for flavour encapsulation, says fundamental new research from France and Spain.

Encapsulating aroma compound in iota-carrageenan fat led to modification to the structure on both sides of the film, thereby affecting the permeability, according to findings published in the Journal of Food Engineering.

"This study on the relative encapsulation of aroma compound by the fat and by i-carrageenan matrix leads to promising potential applications for flavour encapsulation as well as flavouring by using food surface coating technologies," wrote the researchers.

Microcapsules are tiny particles that contain an active agent or core material surrounded by a shell or coating, and are now increasingly being used in food ingredients preparation. The technology can be used to deliver a host of ingredients - flavours, oils, peptides, amino acids, enzymes, acidulants, colours and sweeteners - in a range of food formulations, from functional foods to ice cream.

The technology is attracted growing interest because it can also decrease costs for food makers, particularly those using sensitive ingredients like probiotics, and by reducing the need for preservatives.

Study details

The researchers, led by Frédéric Debeaufort from the University of Burgundy, investigated how factors such as microstructure, composition, surface properties and the different interactions affect the release of flavour from iota-carrageenan microcapsules.

Iota-carrageenan (Cargill) emulsion-based edible films were formulated with anhydrous glycerol (Fluka Chemical) as the plasticizer, a fat (GBS, Danisco Bradbrand) to act as the carrier of the flavour compound (n-hexanal), and glycerol monostearate (GMS, Prolabo Merck eurolab) as the emulsifier.

According to their findings, the edible iota-carrageenan films exhibited good emulsion stability and mechanical properties, and reduced the transfer of oxygen, and therefore spoilage of the flavour.

The results also showed that interactions between n-hexanal and iota-carrageenan and n-hexanal and fat has an effect of the surface structure on both sides of the film. This would affect the permeability, said the researchers.

"The encapsulated n-hexanal interacts with CH2OH and/or sulphated groups of i-carrageenan lateral chains inducing a lower permeability," said Debeaufort amd his co-workers. "The addition of fat also induces the formation of aggregated globules which decreases the aroma permeability."

Take home message

"This study develops new understanding of the influence of the composition and structure of the matrix of films on aroma barrier properties and surface absorption characteristics," wrote the researchers.

"The addition of additives and other active molecules causes interactions with the film matrix, inducing changes in the film properties from one side to another."

Source: Journal of Food Engineering
Volume 93, Issue 1, Pages 80-88
"Interface and aroma barrier properties of iota-carrageenan emulsion–based films used for encapsulation of active food compounds"
Authors: A. Hambleton, M.-J. Fabra, F. Debeaufort, C. Dury-Brun, A. Voilley

Senin, April 13, 2009

Rumput Laut di Lembar Kertas

01 January 2008
Kertas diproses dari limbah agar-agar tanpa bahan kimia, berserat agalosa yang homogen, massal dan ramah lingkungan

Seorang lelaki tinggi besar berpotongan rambut crew cut menyodorkan selembar kertas di depan Trobos dan beberapa kuli tinta lainnya. Tak ada yang ajaib pada kertas putih bersih tersebut. Hanya saja ketika diraba, permukaan kertas itu lebih halus, seperti kertas mahal yang dipakai majalah Time.
Churl Hak You¯nama lelaki itu¯mengatakan,  kertas itu memang bukan kertas biasa yang berbahan baku kayu, melainkan kertas yang dihasilkan dari rumput laut klas algae merah (Rhdophyta).
You yang berkebangsaan Korea Selatan kemudian berkisah, suatu hari agar-agar yang menjadi menu dietnya jatuh ke lantai rumahnya. Dia punguti ceceran makanan kenyal itu yang sekilas mirip bubuk kertas. Di saat itu pula otaknya bekerja lalu sampai pada pertanyaan, "Mengapa agar-agar ini tidak dibuat kertas?" ujarnya.
You yang sebenarnya tamatan fakultas sastra lantas mencari referensi jenis rumput laut yang bisa menjadi bahan baku pulp atau bubur kertas. Untuk itu, You rela menjelajah Amerika, Jepang, China,Vietnam dan Thailand. Akhirnya pada 2003, dia mendapat paten dari Korea dan Amerika tentang proses produksi kertas berbahan baku algae merah (Gelidium amansii dan Pterocladia lucia).
Sayangnya, di Negeri Ginseng yang subtropis, algae merah cuma bisa panen saat musim panas, Mei dan Juni. Fakta tersebut menuntun langkahnya sampai di Indonesia dan bertemu Grevo S Gerungan, dosen Fakultas Perikanan dan Ilmu Kelautan dari Universitas Sam Ratulangi, Manado.

Panen Sepanjang Tahun
Sejak 2006 You dan Grevo melakukan budidaya algae merah di pesisir Nusa Lembongan, Bali dan Lombok. "Kami bekerjasama dengan Departemen Kelautan dan Perikanan (DKP) juga dengan Balai Budidaya Laut (BBL) Lombok," kata You. Di Indonesia, budidaya algae merah bisa dipanen sepanjang tahun yaitu dalam waktu 70 hari dengan hasil 4 kali biomass bibit.
Yang menggembirakan lagi, "Dari hasil survei kami, sepanjang pantai selatan mulai dari Pamengpeuk (Garut) sampai Kupang (NTT) sangat berpotensi untuk budidaya algae merah". Tak heran jika kemudian You mendirikan perusahaan Pegasus Internasional guna mendanai riset di Lombok. Dan Samsung Corporation, konglomerat asal Korsel berada di belakangnya.
"Sekarang kami sedang menangani Ptilophora, Pterocladia capillacea (Gelidium) dan satu jenis lagi yang akan dikembangkan, nama lokalnya beludru," imbuh Grevo. Saat ini, katanya, telah ada 5000 thallus benih. Sementara untuk keperluan budidaya dibutuhkan 100 ribu thallus per-hektar lahan. Grevo mengaku, proses pembenihan ini tidak mudah karena masih harus mengambil dari alam. "Kita butuh waktu sampai 3 tahun untuk mendapatkan 5000 thallus benih, itu pun dengan berkali-kali gagal," ucapnya.
Untuk pengembangan selanjutnya akan dibangun satu pabrik pulp di setiap 500 hektar lahan. Grevo memperkirakan, setiap hektar lahan akan butuh 2 petani. Setiap hektar akan menghasilkan 200 ton rumput laut per-tahun. Pulp yang bisa dihasilkan mencapai 30% dari rumput laut kering.
You menambahkan, dana pembangunan satu pabrik pulp mencapai US$ 2 juta atau sekitar Rp 18 miliar. Meski demikian, masyarakat juga bisa membuat pabrik ini karena teknologinya sederhana. "Seperti menggunakan mesin mixer," jelas You. Grevo memprediksi pada awal 2009 sudah bisa terealisasi. Disain pabrik rencananya akan mengambil dari Jepang.

Tak Ada Limbah
Proses pembuatan kertas dari rumput laut, tidak berbeda dari pembuatan kertas dari kayu. Ada lima proses pokok, yakni penyiapan bahan baku, pemasakan rumput laut, ekstraksi rumput laut, pemutihan dan pencetakan
Secara runtut, proses produksi dimulai dari panen rumput laut merah, kemudian dijemur, dibersihkan, dan dipotong-potong. Lalu dimasukan dalam tungku dan dimasak pada suhu tinggi (boiling), sehingga keluar ekstrak "inti" berupa agar untuk pangan.
Ampas rumput laut—yang telah diambil agarnya—kemudian diputihkan (bleaching) lalu dihancurkan jadi bubur rumput laut merah (pulp). Bubur inilah yang kemudian diolah jadi kertas. "Industri kertas ini tidak bersaing dengan industri agar-agar. Kita jusru memanfaatkan limbah agar-agar," ujar Grevo
Bila dibandingkan, proses produksi kertas dari kayu, sarat akan bahan kimia seperti NaOH dan Na2S (untuk memisahkan serat selulosa dari bahan organik). Dan, berefek gas yang berbau dan mengandung hidrogen sulfida (H2S), methyl mercaptan (CH3SH), dimethyl sulphide (CH3SH3), dimethyl disulphide (CH3S2CH3) dan senyawa gas sulfur.
Hal inilah yang membuat operasional pabrik kertas berbahan baku kayu hampir selalu berbenturan dengan kepentingan lingkungan hidup. Sementara pengolahan produksi kertas dari rumput laut, diproses nyaris tanpa bahan kimia selain pemutihan dengan klorin. Dan yang terpenting, menurut You, hampir tidak ada limbah yang keluar, sehingga tidak berdampak bagi kesehatan.

Selengkapnya baca Majalah TROBOS edisi Januari 2008

Selasa, April 07, 2009

Kampung Tempe, Bebas Krisis Ekonomi

Liputan 6 - Kamis, Maret 19, 2009

Liputan6.com, Malang:

Dunia boleh saja diterpa krisis ekonomi global, tapi imbasnya ternyata tak sampai ke Kampung Sanan di Malang, Jawa Timur. Sudah turun-temurun penduduk kampung ini sibuk dengan rutinitas memproduksi tempe. Hampir 80 persen warga kampung bekerja sebagai produsen tempe. Itu sebabnya kampung ini kerap pula disebut Kampung Tempe.

Berkat tempe, bisa dibilang hampir tak ada pengangguran di kampung ini. Persaingan bisnis yang sehat membantu pengembangan produksi tempe di kampung ini. Tak hanya menyuplai tempe mentah, warga di kampung ini juga membuat produk tempe olahan, seperti kripik tempe.

Berkat tempe pula warga Kampung Sanan sekarang mempunyai bisnis sampingan baru, yakni penggemukan sapi. Peternak tinggal memanfaatkan ampas kedelai atau limbah produksi tempe sebagai makanan utama sapi. Selain mudah mendapatkannya, sapi pun lebih cepat gemuk ketimbang mengkonsumsi rumput.

Berkembangnya bisnis di kampung ini membuat roda ekonomi terus berputar dan hampir tidak terkena dampak krisis. Bahkan kini di kampung tersebut mulai banyak berdiri sentra penjualan oleh-oleh. Produsen dari kampung lain pun banyak menitipkan produk makanan ringannya di sini.(TES/Noor Ramadhan dan Eko Saktia)