Supplier News

Ecolab Forms Sanitation Partnership With Kelley Supply Boosting Efficiencies

Ecolab, a leading provider of comprehensive sanitation, recently announced a strategic partnership with Kelley Supply that’s designed to help food manufacturers produce safe, high-quality foods and boost operational efficiencies in their sanitation programs.

Ecolab and Kelley Supply, a leadinig business-to-business distributor to dairy and food manufacturers, will contribute a market-leading team of technical expertise, real-world data and technologies to create a competitive advantage in the marketplace, the companies said.

“This unique partnership is an important step to successfully bring forth food safety programs that are beneficial to food manufacturers in an industry focused on quality, food safety and sustainability,” said Greg Alberts, president of Kelley Supply.

“Additionally, we are proud to help service and support Ecolab’s continued leadership in creating new innovations in food safety,” Alberts continued. “Together we aim to formulate a highly competitive program that reduces chemical spend and improves operational efficiencies.”

Specifically, Kelley Supply will harness Ecolab’s commodity, processing aid and food ingredient chemistry to service and supply entire plant sanitation processes, from upstream to downstream.

Kelley Supply’s highly experienced technical sales and support team is key to optimizing tailored solutions that increase operational efficiency and reduce processing downtime for improved productivity, the company said.

Kelley Supply’s sales and support teams bring over 75 years of experience in food safety and plant sanitation. Mike Hemling, chemical program manager, and Reda Yacoub, coordinator of membranes, both bring years of experience and technical knowledge to enhance Ecolab’s technical expertise.

“These capabilities will help substantiate Ecolab’s value across the marketplace and evidence of Kelley Supply’s support and distribution. Together we will optimize every aspect of dairy and whey production with innovative solutions that protect food safety and food quality while improving sustainability for the dairy industry,” Alberts said. “Together we are better.”

For more information on the partnership, visit Kelley Supply at ; or Ecolab, at .


Vivolac Introduces High-Yielding Cultures Program For Mozzarella Blends

Vivolac Culture Corporation has introduced new, innovative, high-yielding, Mozzarella blended cultures to its current Mozzarella program.

Vivolac STEP series cultures have been used for making Mozzarella and Provolone for years. The new STEP Cultures blends for Mozzarella are the company’s newest innovative addition, designed to maximize profits through higher yields.

“Cheese makers are realizing actual cost savings with our new STEP program,” said Aaron Miller, sales and technical services manager at Vivolac. “Based on recent commercial trials, cheese makers are seeing a consistent 1.5 percent-plus higher moistures in their pizza cheese products.”

Miller said the company had been developing the program when it became expedited due to supply chain issues.

“It was brought to our attention there was a need for products to be supported from the US market,” Miller said. “Our current Mozzarella customers requested our expertise in developing a price competitive product made in the US that would increase yield through moisture retention of their Italian cheese.”

The focus of the initial project was to create a fast acidification, high-moisture retaining product that adds value to our customers, both through our ability to supply the pizza cheese market with US-made products, but also with more cheese per pound and higher yields to their vats, Miller said.

“We have done specialty projects like this in the past,” Miller said. “Given our track record of fast turn-around times, technical expertise, as well as flexibility, we were able to deliver our first trial cultures in a few short weeks.”

“Initial trials went extremely well, and companies find the product competes in cost, quality, and functionality,” Miller said.

Vivolac Culture Corporation is a leader in starter culture, media and bioprotective cultures. The company recently completed an 8,000-square-foot expansion to its freezer capacity, warehousing, and its shipping operations to more efficiently serve the industry.

“Being a privately held business allowed us to quickly make changes in reaction to global supply chain disruptions. We moved our raw material sourcing to be mostly based in the US which has allowed us to have an uninterrupted flow of products available for our customers,” Miller said.

“Pair that with our ability to rapidly create new and innovative products, and we feel we have helped our customers successfully navigate through the challenges that have been presented over the past couple years,” Miller added.

Vivolac currently offers four of the higher-yielding complex blends. These blends have multiple strains to add phage robustness. Combined with Vivolac’s current higher-yielding STEP Mozzarella and Provolone cultures, the company is suited to satisfy any cheese maker looking to maintain high yields, the company said.

For more information, contact Miller at or 920-255-0808.


Agathangelou Offering Equipment Lines For Paneer, Halloumi, Grilled Cheese Production

The main expertise of Cyprus-based Agathangelou, a specialized engineering firm with more than 60 years of experience in the design and manufacture of plants and equipment in the dairy sector, is Paneer, Halloumi and grilled cheese production lines.

Agathangelou serves a wide range of clients from small artisan, family-run cheese makers to commercially driven, high-yield clients. Agathangelou said its approach includes detailed, targeted, and efficient solutions, using cutting-edge technology and a highly experienced team.

For Paneer, Agathangelou has developed a range of automatic and semi-automatic lines; the company said its automatic Paneer production lines reduce handling and improve yield, due to reduced human involvement and more standardized production.

Agathangelou said it has the longest-standing experience in Halloumi and grilled cheese equipment production worldwide, and has been supplying industry leaders with innovative solutions for Halloumi and similar products’ production, thereby enabling the growth and expansion of their markets.

For more information on Christakis Agathangelou Ltd, visit


Urschel Introduces New Affinity Integra-D Cheese Dicer That’s USDA Dairy Division
Urschel is introducing the new Affinity® Integra-D cheese dicer that’s USDA Dairy Division Accepted.

“Following the success of our large Affinity cheese dicer, the new Integra-D offers processors all of the advantages in a scaled-down footprint. The Integra-D provides the latest in precision cutting, and a turn-key upgrade for processors with Urschel RA series machines,” said Tim O’Brien, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Urschel.

“Updating a line could not be simpler, and the benefits derived from higher yields is a bonus,” O’Brien added.

The Integra-D is Urschel’s newest addition to the Affinity line. The high-performance dicer features operation at the push of a button. The machine is designed with the cutting zone completely separate from the mechanical zone. Hinged access panels ease maintenance and part changeovers, Urschel noted. The dicer is powered by a 10-horsepower (7.5 kW) motor.

“Superior sanitation, quick part changeovers, and heavy duty are terms customers use to describe the new Integra-D cheese dicer,” according to Scott Klockow, Urschel’s mechanical design manager. “Customers replacing an RA machine with the Integra-D have experienced 20 to even 50 percent higher capacities due to the larger infeed and increased horsepower.”

The new three-dimensional dicer accepts products up to 4.5 inches (114 mm). Product is delivered to a feed hopper and enters a rotating impeller. Centrifugal force holds the product against the inside of the case. Impeller paddles carry the product past the slicing knife.

An adjustable slice gate at the top of the case determines the slice thickness.

Slices pass between the rotating feed drum and feed spindle and then enter the circular knives where they are cut into strips.
The strips pass directly into the crosscut knives where the final cut is made to create a precision dice. The stripper plate removes product from the spaces between the circular knives and acts as a shear edge for the crosscut knives. Strip cuts can be produced by removing the crosscut knife spindle.

For more information about the new Affinity Integra-D Dicer, email; or visit .


Allied Blending Gets Patent For Dry Blend For Making Extended Cheese Product

The US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded a patent for dry blends used in the process of making extended cheese products with improved meltability and firmness profiles.

Inventors are Mostafa Galal and John Fannon. The patent was assigned to Allied Blending LP.

An “extended cheese product” is a food product based on a natural cheese, but wherein filler material has been added to the natural cheese to extend the mass and volume while maintaining or improving the physical properties of the natural cheese (i.e., meltability, stretchability, browning, elasticity, free oil formation, etc.), the patent description explained.

Dry blend refers to the “dry” (i.e., less than 15 percent water) starting material one would use in making an extended cheese production, the patent noted. A dry blend is a homogenous mixture of the ingredients that may be sold as a pre-packaged mix to a cheese manufacturer or user. Normally water and some type of fat would be added to produce the extended cheese product. A desired flavor could also be added in to resemble the desired cheese taste.

The dry blend that is provided in the patent for use in the extended cheese product is designed to improve flowability of the final cheese product, stretch, texture, coloring, blister characteristics, and/or nutritional composition.

In one embodiment of the invention, a pre-filled cheese extender package has a dry blend comprising a 40-70 percent food starch, 3-18 percent whey, 5-25 percent emulsifiers, and 0-8 percent gums, wherein said dry blend comprises less than 15 percent casein and is homogenously blended and filled into said pre-filled cheese extender package.

In another embodiment, the pre-filled cheese extender package has a dry blend comprising a 50-60 percent modified food starch, 13-16 percent whey, 9-20 percent emulsifiers, and 2-6 percent gums. In an embodiment, said blend further comprises 0-5 percent of an acidulant.

A number of different types of starches can be incorporated into the dry blend, according to the patent description. Suitable starches include vegetable starches and grain starches. The starch can be modified or native. Examples of suitable gums that can be incorporated include, but are not limited to, xanthan gum, guar gum, konjac flour and locust bean gum.


Chr. Hansen Offers New Microbial Lipase That Improves Cheese Taste With Dosage Precision

Chr. Hansen is now offering a new enzyme formulation that the company said can help cheese makers cater to the consumer demand for exciting taste experiences.

SpiceIT® MPlus microbial lipase is designed to develop less soapy and bitter notes compared to other microbial lipases and will be available globally to ensure that cheese makers can achieve the flavor profile they require, Chr. Hansen said.

SpiceIT MPlus ensures dosage precision due to its lower enzyme strength and comes in a 500-gram pack size to preserve enzyme quality and activity.

“Most microbial lipases are produced at high concentration and in larger pack sizes,” said Dana Wolle, senior scientist, global cheese applications, Chr. Hansen. “This means that a very small amount of lipase is utilized for every vat produced, and small deviations in the dosage can create large flavor variations in the final cheese.

In addition, because a small amount of lipase is utilized per vat, it can take an extended period of time to
use up all the product in a single package.”

Further, the thermal stability profile of SpiceIT MPlus is “similar to animal products, meaning that replacing an animal lipase with SpiceIT MPlus is less complex in situations where significant heat treatment is part of the cheese production process,” Wolle continued.

For more information, visit .

Flair Flexible Packaging Launches Advancement On Its Thermoforming Film Program

Flair Flexible Packaging, Appleton, WI, recently introduced PLATINUM+, a performance-enhanced advancement on its original thermoforming film program.

Engineered to offer a wider operating window, PLATINUM+ films offer business a premium solution to common challenges in thermoformed packaging, at even lower cost, Flair noted.

“It’s a very operator-friendly film. It doesn’t require the time, material and product costs associated with adjusting the film or machine settings,” said Mike Conrad, Flair’s applied engineering field supervisor. “The film forms good pockets, has short seal times, better film coverage and distribution — it’s highly user-friendly.”

Whether a machine is at the top or bottom of the operating temperature range, Flair said its PLATINUM+ offers consistent, premium presentation through tight formability, advanced pocket definition, and even wall thicknesses for both deep and shallow drawing, and non-forming films with reduced curling and improved lay flat characteristics. PLATINUM+ offers an enhanced experience for both processors and their consumers.

Coupled with improvements to the clarity and gloss that characterized Flair’s original program, PLATINUM+ thermoforming films offer an ideal solution for both retail and industrial applications, cheese products, fresh or processed meat, surimi, tofu and more, Flair said.

Suitable for fresh and frozen applications, PLATINUM+ thermoforming films are available in high and standard barriers through Flair’s extensive stock program, and may also be developed in custom structures, sizes, and gauges for unique applications.

All custom products offer access to a full suite of complementary services at no added cost, including Flair’s in-house Innovation Center, featuring a fully-equipped technical lab for product and structural analysis; an Application Lab housing specialized equipment for performance simulation testing; as well as an applied engineering team for on-site technical support and servicing Flair’s films on customers’ machines.

For more information, visit .

Mercer Group And Its Subsidiaries To Be Brought Under One Identity: MHM Automation

Starting September, Mercer Group and its subsidiaries will be brought under one identity, MHM Automation, as it provides automated solutions around the world.

MHM Automation is the representation of Mercer Group’s businesses: H&C Automated Solutions (formerly Haden & Custance), Mercer Stainless, and Milmeq.

Across these businesses, MHM Automation provides automated solutions to the global cheese, dairy and protein sectors, packaging technologies, large-scale chilling and freezing systems and stainless steel fabrication services.
CEO Richard Rookes said the new look and direction was an exciting change for the company, signaling the culmination of years of acquisitions and strategic business decisions that have transitioned the company to a technology and automation-led future.

“We’ve been using the phrase ‘The Future Looks Different’ to describe this new chapter because it really speaks to our overall vision moving forward,” Rookes said. “It was important to us that we honored both where we’ve come from while also having a brand that reflected who we are today and where we are heading. We are now a technology-led company providing world leading engineered automated solutions to the world.”

The company had undertaken research earlier this year to gain a comprehensive overview of how staff viewed and represented the Mercer brand. These results formed the blocks of the rebrand, arriving at MHM Automation.

The implementation of MHM Automation will be gradual, with product brands remaining at this stage given their reputation and brand recognition.

Chairman Trevor Burt said the unification of Mercer’s businesses as a single, trusted entity would allow them to more effectively deliver solutions to the global customer base and provide better opportunities to cross sell capability.

MHM Automation’s history spans 135 years and sits alongside the story of New Zealand’s development. MHM Automation designs and supplies food processing and packaging equipment, and its legacy brands have helped shape the New Zealand engineering and manufacturing sectors.

For more information, visit . More information about H&C Automated Solutions is available at .

Renco Expands, Ups Shipments Of Calf Rennet To Answer Supply Shortage
Citing a tight supply of calf rennet, Renco New Zealand and its US distributor, The Cheese Connection, have further strengthened their partnership to better serve calf rennet-using customers in their cheese manufacture.

Renco, whose products are manufactured at its production facility in Eltham, Taranaki, said the expansion will help grow the company’s production and supply of natural calf rennet, lipase, natural pancreatin, annatto and other products.

Renco is part of the Talley’s Family Group which acquired 100 percent shareholding in AFFCO New Zealand Limited in 2010.

“The Renco plant upgrade and renovation is a multi-million dollar investment that underpins Talley’s Group’s commitment in the future of traditional rennet making,” said Fran Bishop, business development manager at Renco.

For over 100 years, Renco has been extracting and purifying enzymes of natural origin at its New Zealand location.

“Renco promises to support The Cheese Connection and Renco’s loyal US customers,” both companies announced. “We will ensure Renco products to the US by providing as much product as The Cheese Connection needs for clients as well as free samples to any company wanting to run tests.”

The establishment of a rennet production facility was motivated by the desire to ensure the supply of this vital ingredient for the production of cheese worldwide, Bishop said.

While steps are underway to expand and modernize the production facility, Renco’s plan is to keep parts of the original façade preserving the history of the company, Bishop said.

“This project will give Renco more capacity for production, and the chance to look at other innovative projects,” Bishop said.“Our investment will include energy efficient dryers and operating equipment. Solar energy panels will be used to create electricity for the plant. All of this ensuring future efficiencies, as well as ensuring superb consistency between batches which is critical for cheese makers who are crafting top quality product.”

Calf Rennet Shortage
Renco’s partnership with The Cheese Connection will be strengthened because of the increased supply of product. The coronavirus pandemic changed supply when normal airfreight routes and shipping channels were severely cut back, said Kallijah Paraska, co-owner/manager, The Cheese Connection LLC.

Renco is just one of a few suppliers of natural calf rennet to the US marketplace. The company partners with The Cheese Connection to reach the US market.
Paraska believes 250 - 350 cheese makers use natural calf rennet and lipase in their manufacture here in the US.

“Even during the pandemic we have been importing Renco rennet in smaller containers given the airlines have a weight limit,” Paraska said.

While shipping was hindering availablity, Paraska said another major US supplier of calf rennet had distribution problems and another supplier ceased supplying the product in the US. That, she said, created a temporary shortage of supply.

“Due to our deep and long-standing relationship with Renco, we have been able to secure refrigerated, palletized freight for our clients nationwide in large volumes. Therefore, supply was never truly an issue for us and we were able to provide a constant supply.”

The strengthened partnership provides The Cheese Connection with a consistent supply, allowing for cheese makers who have had difficulty finding the product, to use The Cheese Connection’s availability and services.

Paraska said shipments continue to arrive and cheese makers who have had trouble securing calf rennet should contact her.

“We will have samples available for potential clients of single strength natural veal rennet, calf, lamb and kid-goat lipase,” Paraska said. “Supplies are available, and as important, at the cost before the pandemic.”
For more information or to request free samples of natural calf rennet or lipase, visit
ALPMA USA Partners With Frontmatec To Offer Hand And Boot Hygiene Stations

ALPMA USA has expanded its partnership with Frontmatec to offer a more complete portfolio of employee sanitizing and hygiene systems.
In addition to the increased number of pressure/foam cleaning systems ALPMA USA has been offering, the expanded hygiene portfolio from Frontmatec now includes automatic equipment for hand cleaning, sanitizing and drying, as well as boot and sole cleaning and sanitizing.

“Proper hygiene has always been an important factor in the food production and processing industry,” ALPMA USA said. “The importance of proper hygiene control is being highlighted more now than ever before.”

“Our commitment is to help the cheese and dairy industry protect their employees and their production process integrity by providing the equipment needed to achieve best practices in facility hygiene and sanitation control,” said Ruedi Buecher, vice president of sales, ALPMA-SULBANA.

Boot-cleaning and washing stations speed up the process for workers entering and leaving the processing area, the company said. Guided hygiene equipment activates and shuts down automatically and provides effective cleaning on the bottoms and sides of the boots.

Handwashing is one of the most reliable methods for eliminating the spread of germs and bacteria between employees, equipment and on working surfaces. As part of the new portfolio, hand-sanitizer dispensers are available which are beneficial for use prior to employees entering production areas
The no-contact dispensing system’s nozzles provide cone-shaped spraying patterns, allowing for the complete sanitizing of hands. A light turns on to indicate completion of the hand-disinfection cycle and the motor-driven turnstile will unlock. A key feature available is the controlled entry system, which ensures that every employee entering the production area has washed their hands, reducing the risks to a company’s process and ensuring adequate hand hygiene.

Hand and boot cleaning stations can be offered as stand-alone units or used in conjunction as an all-in-one system. All of the hygiene systems offer a range of high-quality products that set new standards in terms of efficiency, eco-friendly, design and in accordance with FDA guidelines, the company said.

For more information, visit or contact ALPMA USA LLC at 608-426-6415 or


Extrutech Plastics Begins Production Of Wall, Ceiling Panels With Antimicrobial Technology

Extrutech Plastics, Inc., has begun production of Poly Board-AM for wall and ceiling panels, doors, concrete forms, clean rooms and partition walls utilizing state-of-the-art technology to enhance its products with antimicrobial additives.

In a world where viruses and germs come out of nowhere and threaten life as we know it, Extrutech Plastics said it realized a need for a family of products that its customers can rely on to provide an additional layer of safety and security for their employees and the food and health care products that they produce every day.

These Poly Board-AM products made by Extrutech Plastics will offer a higher level of confidence to its many customers in the food processing, beverage, agricultural, pharmaceutical, animal care, wellness and other industries throughout North America, the company said.

Extrutech Plastic’s mission is to provide superior, safe, high-quality construction products that are 100 percent American-made and back them up with outstanding customer service.

Extrutech Plastics, Inc, which manufactures all of its products in Manitowoc, WI, is a certified ISO 9001-2015 QMS manufacturer and designated supplier to the “Buy American Plan” under the US government.

For more information, visit; email; or call (888) 818-0118.


SPX Flow Transfers Yellow Cheese Activities, Technologies To Denmark’s Primodan

SPX Flow has signed an agreement with Denmark’s Primodan for the transfer of its yellow cheese activities and technologies.

The technology includes curd making, pressing and final brining systems.

Primodan is a Danish-owned company which designs, manufactures and supplies plants and equipment for the dairy and food processing industries.

Primodan said it excels in the design and supply of white cheese plants. They are also involved in filling and packaging machines for premade containers for global markets.

The acquisition of SPX Flow’s yellow cheesemaking technology presents new opportunities and expansion of its current cheesemaking plant business, Primodan said.

“The agreement transfers some excellent technology to Primodan, which is itself a leader in cheese production,” said Jan Olsen, food and beverage director, business transformation in Europe, Middle East and Africa at SPX Flow. “New yellow cheese plants are not part of our core growth strategy and the sale of this portion of our business makes sense for both companies and our customers.”

The specific equipment included in the sale includes the CurdMaster, used to produce cheese curd from cheese milk; the OPD PrePress System, for batch draining, pre-pressing and cutting of cheese curd; and the SaniPress system, for final pressing and handling of hard and semi-hard cheeses.

“The purchase of the SPX Flow yellow cheesemaking business is an exciting opportunity for us, and one that fits well with our current technology portfolio,” said Simon Serve Jensen, CEO at Primodan. “We have a longstanding relationship with SPX Flow and are looking forward to this continuing into the future for the benefit of all our customers.”

As part of the agreement with Primodan, SPX Flow said it will continue to provide aftermarket service for customers with existing yellow cheese plants until the end of 2021.

Primodan will continue to use other SPX Flow technology, including valves and pumps, and other process components and support, in new cheese plants designed and manufactured at its facilities.

“Our relationship with Primodan has been long and fruitful. This sale marks a new period in our collaboration,” Olsen said.


Advanced Process Technologies (APT)Rebrands Corporate Identity

Advanced Process Technologies, Inc. (APT) has rebranded its corporate identity to better reflect its personalized customer experience as well as its continued growth as a leading equipment manufacturer for the dairy and food industries.

In the last several years, APT has established new locations in California and Idaho and has more than doubled the size of its existing Minnesota facility. Poised for continued expansion throughout the US and Canada, APT has built a reputation for engineering expertise and hands-on customer support for projects ranging from small upgrades to new state-of-the-art facilities.

In collaboration with The Marketing Dept., APT has developed a new logo, website and marketing materials that showcase its customer service focus and highlight its ability to customize solutions for greater efficiency and improved product quality.

“As an employee-owned company, everything we do is an investment in complete customer satisfaction,” said Craig Campbell, APT’s president. “Our long-term customers know how much we care about their success.

“Given our growth into new markets, we want new customers to understand how this philosophy drives our approach to collaboration and innovation,” Campbell continued. “Rebranding gives us a better opportunity to tell this story.”

APT will officially reveal the rebrand to customers at the 2018 International Cheese Technology Expo, to be held Apr. 17-19 in Milwaukee, WI.

For more information, visit


Qualtech Introduces New Cheese Fines Saver

Qualtech, a customized process design, automation, installation and commissioning services company has recently introduced a new cheese fines saver that the company said will increase yield 1.4 percent.

Called the Curd Maximizer, the fines saver meets the food industry standards, the company said.

Qualtech’s Curd Maximer makes it possible to recover fines that pass through the coarse filters of the cheese table’s outlet.

The fines saver unit includes the enclosure, wedge wire screen, control panel, a set of valves and a positive displacement pump, Qualtech noted.

The unit’s large counter-weight access door allows for easy accessibility and inspection, the company said.

Ease of integration to exisiting CIP system as well as no consumables and no moving or wearing parts make this a unique fine saver, the company noted.

As the company said, the yield can be increased 1.4 percent. Other benefits of the fines saver include the compatiblity with any CIP system; and allows for the return of cheese fines directly to the finishing process.

Qualtech said the Curd Maximizer can run up to 125,000 liters per hour whey filtration.

For more information on Qualtech’s Curd Maximizer, visit or email George Anton at or call 1-888-339-3801.