Category: Packaging & Ingredients

Edible Packaging? Are we ready?

edible burger

Credit: NY Daily News

Back in 1960s, Roald Dahl’s imagination ran away with Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory in Charlie and Chocolate Factory where Willy Wonka, Oompa-Loompas, and the Everlasting Gobstopper were created. In 1971 the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was released into theaters where we watched Willy Wonka drink from a tea cup and then eat it. It has been 45 years since the movie was created, and the age of edible or innovative packaging is becoming a reality.

If we take the time to think about the amount of packaging we use on just one item, we might rethink what we could do differently. For example, as I’m writing this article I am eating a bag of microwave popcorn. The popcorn comes in a bag, the bag is in a cellophane wrapper, and the wrapped popcorn bag was in a box, inside another box that it was shipped in. That’s FOUR layers of packaging to get to the popcorn. According to the EPA based on the 2013 Fact Sheet, Americans alone generated about 254 million TONS of trash and composted over 87 million tons of this material. [See the statistics by clicking here!]   One can easily see that our environment needs a break from the waste that we, as humans create.

Just recently the American Chemical Society introduced a packaging film made of milk protein, casein. According to research leader Peggy Tomasula, D.Sc., “ The protein-based films are powerful oxygen blockers that help prevent food spoilage. When used in packaging, they could prevent food waste during distribution along the food chain.” [Learn more by clicking here.] Currently most food packaging is petroleum-based which puts additional unnecessary stress on our environment, with plastic taking up to 1,000 years to completely decompose. So by the time my kid is a grandparent, the plastic I’m using today still might not be decomposed.

At first the film was hard to handle and would easily dissolve in water too quickly. When citrus pectin was added to the blend the packaging became even stronger. Not only did it become stronger but it was more resistant to humidity and high temperatures. In the future, nutritious additives such as vitamins, probiotics and nutraceuticals could be added. Also, though casein doesn’t have a lot of flavor, flavors could actually be added in the future.  

There are several drawbacks to casein-based packaging along with other edible packaging would require a secondary package to protect the edible packaging from getting wet and dissolving, or getting dirty and contaminated with microbes, becoming unsuitable for consumption. This issue also lies with other edible packaging developments.   Edible packaging also has an uphill battle of overcoming the public’s’ perception of eating the packaging that their food comes in, and trusting what they are consuming is healthy and won’t cause further health concerns like cancer down the road.

Casein is far from being the only player in the edible packaging sphere.   For example, Loliware edible drinking cups; Bob’s Brazilian Hamburger WrapsWikiCells, which are edible bites like yogurt balls by Stonyfield Organic; and Vivos Films are all creations of companies looking to package food with these new delivery methods.    

Just think about it, we already eat apples, peaches, and other fruit and vegetable with the skins on. Those skins are fruits and vegetables own packaging. We eat that so why can’t we eat an environmentally-friendly  cup that is made from sweeteners, filtered water, seaweed, and other natural flavors derived from fruits and vegetables?     Maybe Willy Wonka wasn’t so far off…perhaps we can have our tea, and eat the cup and saucer too…


Arch Deluxe: Nelson-Jameson at IAFP

IAFP 2016 , image courtesy of foodprotection.org

IAFP 2016 , image courtesy of foodprotection.org

In the shadow of the towering Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, Nelson-Jameson will be displaying a host of products and services at the International Association for Food Protection Annual Meeting (IAFP)! From July 31st-August 2nd, swing by the Exhibit Hall at the America’s Center Convention Complex to see all we have to offer!   Dayton, Fritz, Amanda, Barb, and Mat will be in attendance to help you check out several of our offerings, and to assist in figuring out how Nelson-Jameson can be of service in supplying your Lab, MRO, Processing, Ingredient, Packaging, and Cleaning Chemical needs!  This year, we’ll be featuring a wide selection of Whirl-Pak bags, 3M Food Safety supplies & instruments, 3M Safety products, Metal Detectable & Color-Coded products, and a host of other quality items.

Each year we look forward to IAFP, as it gives us a chance to connect with customers on the front lines in the fight for food safety. The Exhibit Hall, as well as a remarkable program of presentations, workshops, and meetings bring together an array of resources that continue to propel the industry forward in our new regulatory era. To check out more about IAFP, click here. Be sure to stop by our booth (#619) to find out more about how Nelson-Jameson take care of all of your food safety supply needs and beyond!

In addition, this year we will be featuring an INCREDIBLE drawing for 3M ATP Clean-Trace Luminometer! The 3M Clean-Trace ATP Luminometer is portable, compact, and simple to use for easy testing. The Luminometer is supplied with data trending software that allows plants to filter, sort, and chart your results for easier analysis, making you feel more secure about the decisions that are being made for your plant.

All you have to do to win this beauty is to simply come visit us at Booth #619, and drop off your business card. One winner will be drawn at random, and booth attendance at the time of the drawing is not required. The prize is currently valued at over $3,000, and is not eligible for exchange, return, or credit to Nelson-Jameson or 3M.

See you under the Arch!


Nelson-Jameson Inc., Kaestner LLC, and Valcour Process Technologies enter partnership to bring expanded offerings to the U.S. Cheese and Dairy Production Markets

MARSHFIELD, WIS., October 8, 2015 – Nelson-Jameson — one of the largest distributors to the US cheese production market — and its sister company Kaestner LLC — a field service, PM programs, and project solutions provider — are entering a strategic partnership with Valcour Process Technologies. Valcour specializes in offering process technologies, equipment, systems, lines, and project solutions for the cheese, yogurt, and dairy production markets.

Valcour will be working directly with the sales teams at Nelson-Jameson and Kaestner to expand their market reach and breadth of offering to customers. Kaestner will also offer services, spare parts, and preventative maintenance programs to Valcour to better serve their customers.

All three companies will work together to provide better solutions to cheese manufacturers.

Nelson-Jameson, Inc. has been an integrated supplier for the food industry since 1947. Product lines include safety & personnel, production & material handling, sanitation & janitorial, processing & flow control, laboratory & QA/QC, and bulk packaging & ingredients. The company is headquartered in Marshfield, Wisconsin, with other locations in Turlock, California; Twin Falls, Idaho; York, Pennsylvania; Dumas, Texas; and Chicago, Illinois. For more information visit, www.nelsonjameson.com.


Don’t Have a Cow

FAO-Infographic-milk-facts-en

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Nelson-Jameson, Inc. began as a dairy-centric business almost 70 years ago and, while we’ve since branched into all sectors of the food and beverage processing industries, we still consider ourselves experts in all-things-dairy.

Global dairy consumption is expected to grow by 36% in the next decade, largely driven by emerging markets. To satisfy this demand and other culturally-based needs, consumers and processors are looking beyond the traditional dairy cow to other milk-producing animals such as camels, goats, sheep and buffaloes.

Hump Day Every Day
Camel milk has long been a staple in arid regions in the Middle East, Asia and Africa where bovine farming is considered too water-intensive. It has more fat and protein than cow’s milk, and is lower in cholesterol than cow or goat milk. Proponents of Camel milk assert that the milk’s naturally anti-inflammatory properties can improve brain function for those that suffer from Autism and ADHD, and that it may promote the healing of diabetic wounds. You’ll pay a premium for these benefits, however—camel milk is currently being sold in select Whole Foods and other supermarkets for $18/16oz.

Get Your Goat (and Sheep)
Although goat cheese and sheep’s milk cheese have been regularly consumed in the United States for quite some time, their fluid milk is only now beginning to gain popularity with Americans. Globally, their milk has been consumed for thousands of years, as both sheep and goats were among the earliest animals domesticated by humans. Goat’s milk has more calcium, potassium and vitamin A than cow’s milk, and is also easier to digest because of its lower level of lactose. Sheep’s milk is similar to the mineral and vitamin content in goat’s milk, but also has more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than both cow’s and goat’s milk. CLA has been shown to help reduce cancerous tumors, lower blood pressure and reduce body fat.

Buffalo Swills
Water, Swamp and River Buffaloes are responsible for a significant amount of the world’s milk production, second only to dairy cattle. Although buffaloes have a significantly longer production life than cows, they also have longer “dry” periods, produce less milk and are more sensitive to the milking process. 95% of the dairy buffalo population is located in Asia, and the largest buffalo milk producers are in India and Pakistan. Although buffalo milk is often made into cheese, ghee or yogurt, its use as a beverage has recently gained popularity outside of Asia. Buffalo milk is lower in cholesterol than cow’s milk, and is thicker and creamier due to a higher fat and calorie content. Also, because of its high peroxidase activity, buffalo milk can be preserved naturally for a longer period than cow’s milk.

A Moo Frontier
While camels, goats, sheep and buffaloes are the more common animal-based sources of milk outside of cows, other animals like donkeys, horses, reindeer, and yaks are farmed for milk as well. Donkey milk in particular has been enjoying a newfound popularity, partially due to mainstream news articles touting it as “the elixer of life” and “the next big thing”, as well as Pope Francis giving it his holy stamp of approval.  Hey, if it’s good enough for the pope, I guess we could give alternative animal milk a try too.

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Tech Tip: Packaging Film

The world of food grade packaging films is a colorful and complicated one. There is no end to the options and variables. At the end of the day there are two main categories: Barrier and Non-Barrier films.

1007589Non-Barrier Films
The simpler and less costly option of the two. While there are many different potential components, LLDPE linear low density polyethylene is probably the most prevalent. This material makes up most of the zip lock bags or trash bin liners films we purchase every day. LLDPE is a flexible material suitable for short term storage. Many 55lb bulk butter applications utilize LLDPE film, as well as cheese sold for processing within days of production.

Barrier Films
bulk-cheese-blockAnother matter entirely and can be a complicated subject. Barrier being the key word and references their ability to provide protection from oxygen and moisture. If you are looking to extend shelf life of retail products, or age many types of cheese, one key variable to your application will be barrier film.

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