Nanotechnology under the microscope

In the last year nanotechnology was built into more than $50 billion of manufactured goods, according to Lux Research. The market for this technology is expected to grow to $2.6 trillion by 2014, and it is believed that $20 billion in consumer food products will incorporate nanotechnology by 2010. Unfortunately, there has been no nano-specific regulation anywhere in the world.

A new conference on nanotechnology, sponsored by the Food and Drug Law Institute, will convene February 28-29 at Washington DC’s L’Enfant Plaza Hotel and address regulatory and technical issues. Top officials at the agencies responsible for regulating nanotechnology products, including FDA, EPA and OSHA, will discuss their plans for managing and monitoring these products. Food and drug industry representatives and other attendees will learn about international nanotech regulation and the trends in this dynamic field.

The conference is co-sponsored by Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholar’s Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, in partnership with Arizona State University and the Burdock Group. Topics include: first and second generation nanotech products already on the market, domestic and international safety and regulations and consumer issues.

For more information, contact the Food and Drug Law Institute, 800-956-6293 or

Hens get a break

Morningstar Farms, a Kellogg subsidiary that has been making vegetarian products for more than 25 years, said it will use one-million fewer eggs in 2008 while offering more egg-free products.

Though largely driven by consumer demand for healthy products without eggs, Morningstar is being praised by animal protection organizations for making fewer demands on already-stressed laying hens.

Bottled water industry supports resource management

Testimony given by Joe Doss, president and CEO of the International Bottled Water Association, to the US House of Representatives Domestic Policy Subcommittee Government Reform and Oversight Committee showed that the bottled water industry’s use of ground water resources is quite small.

According to a 2005 study by the Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF), the bottled water industry uses about 0.02% of all groundwater withdrawals in the US. Doss also addressed bottled water industry support of comprehensive groundwater resource management, but also asked for fair regulations.

“Groundwater management laws and regulations must be comprehensive, science based, multi-jurisdictional, treat all users equitably and balance current uses with future needs.” Doss said.

Farming sturgeon and caviar

United Food Technologies AG has started a successful aquaculture project to farm sturgeon for caviar, which has become very scarce in the wild.

The new site in Germany introduced 2,500 sturgeons on December 13. Further additions will be carried out in the first quarter of 2008 until all the breeding basins are filled. Production is expected to begin on site in 2008.

Cooperation urged to reduce food-borne illness

Major food processors, retailers and national consumer organizations convened in Washington, DC for an all-day symposium focused on food safety innovation and best practices.


Delivering the goods via contract manufacturing

Considerable hand wringing about the complexities of the supply chain and challenges in designing products for fickle consumers usually accompanies explanations of the high failure rate for new foods.

Contract manufacturing resource guide

This helpful grid features specific services provided by contract packagers. (PDF)

Fabulous food plant

Key design criteria for Fieldale Farms’ RTE facility were bio-security and food safety.

Automation aids pretzel production

Automation aids pretzel production but brings along other issues to be resolved.

People, Plant and Industry News

H. C. Brill Co, Inc., supplier of glazes and icings to the baking industry, received the 2007 Energy Saver Award from the US Depart of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program. Its Tucker, GA plant was able to cut energy usage by 2,246,039 kilowatt hours, equivalent to the annual electrical usage of 187 average homes. Initiatives at the plant included an upgraded chilled water system that reduced energy consumption by 15% and an upgraded conveyor/palletizing system that cut the energy needed for compressed air by more than 35%.


Burger King Corp. has awarded development rights in Colombia for the cities of Medellin and Cali to the Medellin-franchise group, KINCO S.A. to open restaurants in the next two years.


IBM’s Global Business Services has joined Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk Information Solution Provider program. As a partner in the program, IBM will help manufacturers build plant-wide information applications and manufacturing execution systems using the FactoryTalk suite of integrated production and performance software.


Spiroflow Systems has announced four new representatives: Clayton Equipment Company (Texas and Oklahoma), Morin Process Equipment (Alabama and Mississippi), The Process Equipment Group (New Jersey) and Effective Air Systems Corp. (Northern California and Nevada).


ODVA has published new editions of the specifications for the family of CIP Networks, which includes updates for EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet, CompoNet and ControlNet. More information is available at


Apatar, provider of open source software tools for the data integration market, has joined the MySQL Enterprise Connection Alliance, a third-party partnership program for MySQL AB, developer of popular open source database technology.


Packaging machinery supplier, Multivac, appointed James Stillinger as its newest regional sales manager to the food industry. He will manage the Northwest, including Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Nevada and Utah.


Applied Manufacturing Technologies (AMT), a supplier of factory automation, engineering and process consulting services, reorganized its engineering groups and established a practice area dedicated to general industry and systems integrator accounts. Tim Noppe has joined AMT to head the new business.


Cryotech International, a supplier of liquid nitrogen delivery systems, opened a regional office in Albany, NY.