Tag Archives: manufacturing

A peek at Glanbia’s new mill for OatPure gluten-free oats

I’ve spent the day in Ireland with ingredient innovator Glanbia Nutritionals, which announced a big breakthrough in gluten-free purity with the launch of OatPure gluten-free oats.

Certified at max 10 parts perm (ppm) gluten to exceed industry standards, OatPure oats are developed at Glanbia’s new state-of-the-art food grade milling facility in Portlaoise, guaranteeing gluten-free oat traceability and purity.

The day started with a minibus journey to Glanbia’s new state-of-the-art food grade milling facility in Portlaoise. This is a well-known company in the dairy sector, but has specialised in next-generation grains since 2007. Its business evolution has happened over a long period of time, as the company patiently took on new grain endeavours.

Today’s news about the gluten-free oats makes sense, and I can vouch for the impressive new oat mill, which may take this €3.3bn revenue company into new sectors, expanding its reach beyond the 19 countries in which it already does business.

Of course, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the machinery, but I was allowed full access to each stage of the processing on a guided tour by Larry McDonald, head of quality at Glanbia Agrifood. Thanks to Glanbia’s full ownership of the NSF-certified closed loop supply chain process, the plant is unique in processing only oat ingredients to guarantee a certified gluten-free product. The oat processing facility operates to Grade A BRC accreditation and the raw material supply chain is further independently certified.

David the farmer

Glanbia’s agronomists work closely with a team of 20 Glanbia cooperative farmers to initiate the controlled process at seed selection stage, using dedicated gluten-free equipment throughout the protected supply chain system. I met one of these farmers, David Walsh-Kennis, who walked me around his large farm and shared his thoughts about crop rotation, costs and the benefits of growing oats for the gluten-free market.

Once his GPS-monitored land is prepared for planting, the Glanbia team supervises the specialist crop from planting through to sampling and storage to ensure full seed traceability. The oats are examined at all growth stages to optimise rotation, minimise the risk of cross-contamination and ensure the highest quality of pure oats for harvest.

At the milling facility, trained personnel implement an audited labelling and tracking process with guaranteed gluten-free equipment to deliver a fully traceable end product. During processing, the OatPure gluten-free oats are heat-treated for optimum food safety and stability, before being dried, stored and milled in dedicated gluten-free facilities.

The company says the OatPure gluten-free oats are ideal for bread, cookies, granola bars and on-the-go nutrition. By offering beneficial properties such as fibre, protein and ALA omega-3s, OatPure gluten-free oats can enhance the texture and health profile of these products.

“The gluten-free market is expanding rapidly and, as such, offers great potential, as we see consumers opting for gluten-free choices in pursuit of a healthy diet,” said Carla Clissmann, EMEA regional director at Glanbia Nutritionals. “We believe our OatPure gluten-free oats are the purest on the market today, which is testament to our commitment to research and setting the highest standard in regulatory compliance.”

Glanbia’s OatPure gluten-free oats will be available to customers in Europe from November 2014. I’ll be taking a look around the company’s Innovation Centre tomorrow, so will hopefully have some photos to share with you.


A trip down Memory Lane courtesy of Jacob’s in Aintree

I’m feeling nostalgic today, as I just read that United Biscuits is celebrating 100 years at its Jacob’s factory in Aintree, Merseyside.

I was a schoolboy when I visited this factory in the 1980s, and I remember walking around the factory floor with my classmates soaking up the noise of the machinery as it created all sorts of colourful snacks. It was as close to being in Willy Wonka’s factory we would ever get, and it felt amazing.

The site was the first Jacob’s factory in England, built as the Jacob’s brand expanded on its Irish roots, and remains the primary producer of Jacob’s products in the UK, including Cream Crackers and Twiglets.

Yes, it’s the home of the Cream Cracker, but it’s also integral to the development and expansion of many Jacob’s products, including the Biscuits For Cheese selections and Oddities.

However, I don’t remember seeing crackers. I remember marshmallow, which we were allowed to taste straight off the line. It hadn’t dried and toughened yet, so was smooth and easy to lick straight off the biscuit. What a day!

Flour Blending at Jacob's in 1926.
Flour Blending at Jacob’s in 1926.

What I didn’t know at the time was how long the site had been producing food, so to read that it opened in 1914 just blows my mind. It’s not just a product of my own childhood, it’s a product of many childhoods, and I can only imagine all of the happy, young faces that have passed through its gates over the years.

“Our Aintree factory has played a crucial role in the success of Jacob’s, and the broader business of United Biscuits,” said Kevin McGurk, group supply chain director at United Biscuits. “It is the home of Jacob’s, and with around half of all British households buying Jacob’s crackers, it has national as well as local significance.

“As a local manufacturer, we think it’s important to give something back to the community, which is why we play an active role with local primary and secondary schools and support the Aintree Fair Share scheme.”

It’s great that a new generation of schoolchildren is able to enjoy what I enjoyed when I was a nipper. I left with a small, yellow tin full of Club and United biscuits. I wonder what they leave with these days?

Krones builds exhibition stand for Drinktec 2013 in time-lapse video

A couple of months may have passed since the huge Drinktec show in Munich, but German packaging and bottling machine manufacturer Krones has unveiled a revealing video related to the event.

The clip shows how much effort goes in to making sure you stand out among the crowd. The time lapse video shows Krones building a 12,000 square metre exhibition booth, and in super-fast speed, it takes just 90 seconds.