ANZCO Foods is one of New Zealand’s largest exporters.

It procures and processes prime New Zealand beef and lamb, designs and creates sophisticated food and healthcare solutions and markets its products to more than 80 countries. “ANZCO Food and Solutions has partnered with the Ministry for Primary Industries in a seven-year, $78 million Primary Growth Partnership programme called FoodPlus that is developing new and innovative uses for the parts of the red meat carcass that currently generate less value,” says ANZCO’s Food and Solutions CEO Rennie Davidson.

“As well as adding value to a commodity product, the FoodPlus programme is increasing collaboration between industry and research organisations and will help build the primary sector’s reputation as a responsive, market-led industry,” says Rennie.

As part of the development of a new and innovative commercial product range under FoodPlus, ANZCO Foods has been grateful for the use of the facilities of the Food Innovation Network. These facilities have enabled the testing of processes at a semi commercial/small commercial scale to optimise effectiveness of operations such as protein separation, clarification, evaporation and drying. This has allowed ANZCO to assess the ability of various types of equipment to handle a range of high fat, high solids materials before investing capital of its own.

The Food Innovation facilities in both Auckland (FoodBowl) and Palmerston North (FoodPilot) have been used successfully with a variety of different raw material streams to determine the most effective ways of preserving the nutritional value of parts of the carcass that are otherwise rendered.

  • The FoodBowl Auckland has been invaluable in using its contacts with equipment supply companies to source processing equipment to maximise the extraction of valuable protein and other nutrients.
  • FoodPilot, including facilities at Massey University, has been a learning ground for ways to preserve and maintain the nutritional value of these low value raw material streams.

With the ability to move product easily between sites, ANZCO Foods has often begun product processing in one location, transferring the partially processed product for finishing at another, as the facilities are very complementary.

As the projects move towards commercialisation, the project development teams have also been grateful for the experience of Food Innovation staff in understanding the regulatory requirements for nutritional products for overseas markets. This has reduced time to market and given developers export confidence.

Rennie says that the FoodBowl and FoodPilot have helped ANZCO to work towards the goals of the FoodPlus programme. “The combination of technical knowledge and specialist pilot scale equipment has allowed ANZCO to undertake product development work that we could not do anywhere else in New Zealand. The FoodBowl and FoodPilot have made an important contribution to our goal of adding value to the red meat carcass.”