Dairy Dialog podcast 120: Cargill, Cardbox Packaging, Virtual Cheese Awards

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Dairy Dialog podcast 120: Cargill, Cardbox Packaging, Virtual Cheese Awards
Dairy Dialog podcast 120: Cargill, Cardbox Packaging, Virtual Cheese Awards

Related tags: Cargill, Cheese, coronavirus, pandemic, COVID-19, Tapioca, Ingredients, Sustainability, Packaging

This week, we have three features on the podcast. We have conversations with Erin Radermacher, Cargill senior technical services specialist; Klaus Hockl, managing director, Cardbox packaging; and Sarah de Wit, founder of the Virtual Cheese Awards.

We also have our weekly look at the global dairy markets with Liam Fenton at StoneX.

Cargill adding tapioca to range of starches

Cargill is expanding its portfolio of label-friendly SimPure starches, adding tapioca starches to its existing lines of corn- and potato-sourced starches.

The new tapioca starches enable brands to create process-tolerant textures, while appealing to consumer preferences for simple, familiar ingredients. Cargill said the starches are versatile and suitable for a range of applications, including dairy and dairy alternatives, convenience sauces and ready meals, meat alternatives and pet food.

Cargill’s initial offering will feature four tapioca starches, two sold under its SimPure 996 series and two under its SimPure 999 series. The Non-GMO Project Verified texturizers share a few common traits, including a neutral flavor profile, but nuances in their functional attributes are intended to give formulators new tools for specific processing conditions and product applications.

Tapioca starches in the SimPure 996 series create soft gel textures, suitable for spoonable yogurts. The high process tolerant starches bring sensory and functional attributes together, offering a creamy mouthfeel, while delivering on water-binding properties and cold-storage stability.

The SimPure 999 series encompasses the company’s non-gelling tapioca starches, which deliver creamy, indulgent textures thanks to their fat-mimetic properties. These starches are designed for stirrable yogurts, pumpable fruit preps and other applications that require a thick-but-fluid texture. They offer cold-storage stability, controlling syneresis over shelf life and are a good choice for kettle-cooked soups, sauces and ready meals.

Erin Radermacher, Cargill’s senior technical services specialist, said, “Today’s shoppers are more discerning than ever before, with a keen interest in how their food is made. That’s why we continue to expand our SimPure line, providing our customers with advanced texturizing solutions that use familiar ingredients to address a growing range of processing challenges, all backed by our global team of technical experts.

“As we evaluate new starches, we’re careful to balance process tolerance and functional performance with other critical factors like sensory and consumer acceptance. Our new high-performing tapioca starches do it beautifully. Consumers will love how they label, and formulators will love all that they can do."

UK’s Virtual Cheese Awards return

The UK’s Virtual Cheese Awards is set to return for a second year to continue its support and celebration of Britain’s cheese industry.

The 2021 Virtual Cheese Awards will take place live online on Friday May 7, 2021.

The awards will increase from 300 to 400 individual entries across nine categories, with a total of 42 individual classes. Categories include Best Cheddar Cheese, Best Territorial, Best Blue and Best Speciality cheese as well as a new Dairy Free category for dairy-free and vegan products.

An overall Best of British Cheese will be chosen from the winners of the seven main cheese categories.

This year sees the introduction of a new Recognising Excellence category that includes six classes including Most Innovative Cheese Packaging, Sustainability in Cheese production and Cheese Hero, given to someone who has gone over and above to support the cheese industry.

Sarah de Wit, founder of the Virtual Cheese Awards and cheese and dairy consultant, said, “We’re proud to be returning with a bigger, better and even cheesier awards this year which will continue to support and celebrate our fantastic British cheese industry. We have a uniquely transparent and open judging process which was a great hit with producers last year, so entrants can see their cheese being judged live online.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is still negatively affecting so many producers, so we hope the Virtual Cheese Awards will act a beacon to showcase innovation and excellence.”

The inaugural Virtual Cheese Awards were launched in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic with the aim of filling the gap left by established industry cheese and dairy awards, which were cancelled or postponed. It gave cheese producers a platform to promote their cheese, tell their story and connect the community of cheesemakers.

The Best British Cheese 2020 award went to Renegade Monk - a soft blue cow’s milk cheese made from organic pasteurized cow’s milk and rind-washed in ale. Feltham’s Farm, which produces the cheese, said it saw success through winning the awards in 2020, and continues to create new cheeses.

Marcus Fergusson, founder of Feltham’s Farm, said, “Winning Best British Cheese at the first ever Virtual Cheese Awards was so thrilling, we never thought we’d win. It gave us renewed momentum and drive after we were hit hard through the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“We would recommend all producers to enter as it gave our business a real boost. We loved the transparency of the judging process which isn’t replicated in any other cheese awards.”

The Virtual Cheese Awards 2021 will support British farmers and dairy producers by donating all profits to the Specialist Cheesemakers Association.              

There will be one overall winner of Best of British cheese, which will be chosen from the winners of the eight categories.

Categories include Best Cheddar Cheese; Best Territorial Cheese; Best Blue Cheese; Best Enhanced Cheese; Best Speciality Cheese and Best Artisan Cheese.

Other awards include Free From Cheese, a Recognising Excellence award voted for by the public; Most Innovative Cheese Packaging; Best Accompaniment – Crackers; Best Accompaniment – Other; a trophy for Sustainability in Cheese Production; and Cheese Hero – a person who has gone over and above to support the Cheese Industry or created an outstanding innovation.

All the cheeses will be judged online, with final winners judged and revealed live online on May 7, 2021.

Entries cost £45 ($61.70) each with an early bird price of £35 ($48) for the first 150 entries. Deadline for cheese entries is March 24, 2021. Producers can enter online and details of where to send the cheese samples will be communicated.

For information on how to enter, visit www.virtualcheeseawards.com

Greiner and Cardbox brings new cardboard spoon to market

A new fold-out cardboard spoon developed by Greiner Packaging and Cardbox Packaging has been introduced to address the banning of disposable plastic cutlery in the EU from mid-2021.

Designed for eating dairy and snack products away from home, the companies said the spoon fits with both the convenience and sustainability trends. Consumers want food solutions that are easy to prepare and can also be enjoyed on the go – and they also want the food’s packaging and cutlery to be as user and eco-friendly as possible. Cutlery made of renewable resources such as cardboard is 100% recyclable in the paper recycling loop.

Folded once, the cardboard spoon, which the company said is made in a shape that resembles a bank card, has a length of 10cm. The cardboard spoon is made from virgin fibers and is approved for contact with food, while a water-based coating on the cardboard ensures the spoon can be safely used while eating.

Custom printing on the spoons is available, with a minimum order quantity, using food-safe inks and coatings that meet the standard for food products.

Once used, the folding cardboard spoon can be disposed of with other waste paper. Combining it with a top cup made of r-PET and polypropylene (PP) sealing film that can be fully removed from the lid results in a sustainable packaging solution. To access the spoon, the PP film is automatically separated from the lid. This ensures the individual packaging components are 100% recyclable when correctly disposed of.

“We are delighted that more and more partners and customers want to work on sustainable packaging solutions with us. Developing recyclable packaging solutions not only makes sense for the environment but also offers commercial advantages. We are proud to play our part in advancing a circular economy with developments such as the cardboard spoon,”​ said Konrad Wasserbauer, circular economy director at Greiner Packaging.

Florian Scharl, managing director at Cardbox Packaging, added, “We were able to pool our expertise as we worked to develop the cardboard spoon, achieving a result that meets consumers’ expectations as well as doing something positive for our environment.”

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