August's top stories: ArNoCo begins operations, Russia keeps McDonald's closed

The Arla Foods Ingredients and Deutsches Milchkontor joint venture started production of whey and lactose at its new facility in Germany, while the temporary closure of three McDonald's outlets in Moscow received backing from the Russian courts. Foodprocessing-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from August 2014.


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ArNoCo begins whey and lactose production in Germany

A joint venture between Arla Foods Ingredients and DeutschesMilchkontor (DMK), ArNoCo, began production of whey and lactose at its new facility in Germany.

The €50m factory is located 22km south of the Danish border in Nordhackstedtbuilt, and will process value-added ingredients.

The new facility is positioned next to a DMK cheese factory that produces 60,000t a year of mozzarella and semi-hard cheeses, such as Gouda.

Moscow court upholds Russian watchdog's closure of McDonald's outlets

The temporary closure of three McDonald's outlets in Moscow over breaches of food safety rules has received backing from the Russian courts.

Russia's federal service for surveillance on consumer rights protection and human wellbeing, Rospotrebnadzor, temporarily shut down three restaurants in Moscow last week as part of an unscheduled inspection drive, citing a breach of sanitary laws, and this week ordered the temporary closure of a fourth branch in the capital.

While the group has denied that the closures are politically motivated, there has been speculation that the move is retaliation for the economic sanctions imposed by the West over Moscow's stance on the Ukraine conflict.

US overhauls poultry inspection rules

poultry-1In a bid to make chicken and turkey products safer, the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that poultry companies will have to meet new requirements to control Salmonella and Campylobacter rather than addressing the problem after it occurs.

The New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS), an updated science-based inspection system that positions food safety inspectors at poultry facilities more effectively, could prevent up to 5,000 foodborne illnesses every year, the agency said.

According to the modified regulations, all poultry facilities will be required to carry out their own microbiological testing at two points in their production process to show that they are taking steps to control contamination.

McCain Foods to close Canadian French fry facility

Canada-based McCain Foods announced plans to close its French fry facility in Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island (PEI) province, Canada.

The move, which could result in the loss of around 121 jobs, is due to a shift in the market for French fries and the stronger Canadian dollar.

The facility is expected to close by the end of October 2014.

French chocolate makers oppose government's proposal for colour coding chocolates

chocolate-1French chocolate and pastry makers launched a campaign to oppose the government's proposal to impose health warnings on their products in an attempt to tackle the rise of obesity in the country.

The proposal requires companies to introduce colour-coded labels for all food products to ensure healthy eating. These labels have to be produced in five colours, ranging from green for products considered good for health, to red for those best avoided or eaten in small quantities. It has been proposed to put chocolate under the red category.

The Confederation of French Chocolate and Pastry Makers, which represents more than 4,500 chocolatiers and pastry makers from across France, has started a campaign on social media sites to counter the argument that chocolates are unhealthy.

Dangote Industries to invest $1bn in rice production in Nigeria

dangote-1African business conglomerate Dangote Industries agreed to invest around $1bn in rice production and processing operations in Nigeria.

The company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to make the investments, as part of the country's Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) announced in 2011.

Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan was quoted by the Guardian Nigeria as saying: "Today is a great day for Nigeria and this investment is worth the risk. The country is capable of producing rice that can feed the whole of [the] West African sub-region."

Fonterra to acquire 20% stake in Beingmate, expand capacity in New Zealand

New Zealand-based co-operatively owned company Fonterra is to acquire a 20% stake in Chinese infant food manufacturer Beingmate and will also invest close to $555m in expanding its milk production units in New Zealand.

Fonterra will form a global partnership with Beingmate with a total investment of $615m, tod help meet China's growing demand for infant formula and also promote the improvement of product quality and safety standards in the country.

With the partnership, Fonterra aims to create an integrated global supply chain from the farm gate direct to China's consumers, using its milk pools and manufacturing sites in New Zealand, Australia and Europe.

Tyson Foods faces export ban in China

American food company Tyson Foods is exploring new export markets for its pork products after a recent delivery to China triggered an export ban.

The company faces a ban in China owing to traces of feed additive called ractopamine in the meat, which is used to enhance growth in animals.

A total of six major US plants and six cold storage facilities have been included in the ban, three of which belong to the Tyson group.