Goodman Fielder - safe innovation

Goodman Fielder is a leading food company across Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific. They have an extensive portfolio of brands that consumers know and love, covering every meal of the day. The company collaborated with CSIRO and Food Innovation Australia (FIAL) through their SME Solution Centre to create better tasting and healthier dressings, sauces and mayonnaises to meet changing consumer demands.

The Challenge

How to improve taste and health while maintaining food safety?

Goodman Fielder produce many of our daily food items such as bread, milk, margarine, flour, dressings, condiments, mayonnaise, frozen pastry, cake mix, desserts, sauces, vinegar and cooking oils. Their brands include Meadow Lea, Praise, White Wings, Pampas, Helga's, Wonder White, Meadow Fresh, Edmonds and Irvines.

The company wanted to reduce the vinegar taste and the salt and sugar content of some of their mayonnaises and dressings. However, food ingredients such as acid (the vinegar), salt and sugar can be important in making food products safe to eat and preventing foods from spoiling.

To do this, they needed a way of predicting the effects of these changes on aspects like shelf life, taste, safety and spoilage.

Our Response

Developing a predictive software tool

New food products can be developed by trialing and testing different versions one after another. This can take a long time, be expensive and disrupt day to day production. Goodman Fielder wanted a quicker, easier way of improving their products.

To achieve this, our food microbiology experts began by collating significant quantities of the company's internal data on formulation history, processes, raw materials, microbial quality tests and environmental monitoring.

We assessed the data and from there developed a software tool that predicts the microbiological safety and stability of new formulations of shelf stable mayonnaises and dressings with reduced or alternative food acids, based on the company's own systems and processes.

Goodman Fielder - safe innovation: Andre Teixeira, Goodman Fielder Chief R&D and Quality Officer, discusses the benefits for his business of working with CSIRO and Food Innovation Australia Ltd.

Show transcript

Goodman Fielder – Safe Innovation

[Music plays, CSIRO logo appears on bottom right hand corner of screen, and text appears:  Goodman Fielder – Safe innovation]

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[Image changes to show the Goodman Fielder logo with text:  goodman fielder our homegrown food company]

[Image changes to show Andre Teixeira]

Andre Teixeira:  I’m Andre Teixeira, Chief R&D and Quality Officer for Goodman Fielder in Sydney.

[Image changes to show Andre Teixeira smiling]

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Goodman Fielder is a food company with a long tradition of supplying consumers in Australia and New Zealand and the Pacific area with a number of food products, among them dressings and mayonnaise and sauces of all kinds.

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The challenge on this project was that we’re both looking at a taste improvement with the elimination or reduction of vinegar, and at the same time addressing the major health and wellness issue in reducing the amount of sugar and salt in our product, while guaranteeing the perfect food safety.

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We came to CSIRO with a problem.

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They introduced us to FIAL and the SME Solution Centre, and together we developed a solution for our dressings that was reformulated to our taste, and at the same time with perfect food safety.

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We were quite happy to see that CSIRO had already developed a number of solutions that matched exactly what we were looking for potentially in terms of addressing this need for new tastes, while guaranteeing the food safety.

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Through the SME Solution Centre we’re able to access FIAL’s funding, and CSIRO expertise, which helped us significantly to achieve the goals that we started out with.

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We couldn’t have done the work in-house fundamentally because we do not have the scientific capability.

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The difference from where we were before and where we are today as a result of this relationship between FIAL, ourselves, and CSIRO, is the fact that we did not have to invest in scientific capabilities that would take a number of years to materialise and to bear fruit, and we had immediate access to an existing knowledge base that was at arm’s reach for us.

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And we could immediately see the results by co-operating, by working together in a very collaborative manner.

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The SME Solution Centre, which is a partnership between FIAL and CSIRO, has provided training via CSIRO to our new product development team in the use of the tool.  That training has a major impact in the way we reformulate products for this project and beyond.

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The relationship in the future, it can only go further and further and further, because obviously when you have success in one area we immediately become curious about what else we could do.

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There are a number of other opportunities, not just problems, but opportunities to create new ideas and bring those ideas into concepts that eventually can become projects for the future.

[Image changes back to Andrew Teixeira]

[Text appears on screen:  The SME Solution Centre, a collaboration between CSIRO and FIAL.  Various logos appear at the bottom of the screen:  CSIRO; FIAL Food Innovation Australia Ltd; Supported by Australian Government]

 [CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here www.csiro.au]



 

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The Results

New and better dressings and mayonnaises

The tool minimises the food safety risks of reformulating products and makes product diversification in this market category easier. The system not only predicts the effects of formulation changes, but also how any shortcomings might be fixed.

The software better reflects the likely stability of acidified products under Australian conditions than anything that was currently available.

Goodman Fielder also hope to develop exciting, novel flavours and products with this tool.

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