Valio’s researchers are the first to document the importance of ash-protein ratio in reduced sugar chocolate

Valio’s researchers discovered that '30% less sugar' chocolate made with milk-based protein is equal to regular chocolate in taste and texture. The optimal ash-protein ratio in the reduced sugar chocolate was linked to pleasant taste and texture. This solution allows manufacturers to make delicious ’30% less sugar’ chocolate without artificial sweeteners. 

The current wellness trend means that consumers are looking for foods that support an active and healthy lifestyle. Yet, they want to enjoy eating and are reluctant to compromise on the taste, texture, or naturality of food. To reduce sugar consumption and the ill-effects of sugar, many countries have implemented sugar taxes. 

“As a result of the wellness trend and sugar taxes, food and confectionery manufacturers are constantly looking for solutions to create tasty food products with reduced sugar content,” says Terhi Aaltonen, Development Manager and researcher at Valio. 

2020 10 23 095117

The optimal ash-protein ratio gives '30% less sugar' chocolate the melt-in-your-mouth feel 

Consumer acceptance is key in creating desirable and successful reduced sugar products. Both the reformulation and sensory properties of the products need to be acceptable. Valio’s researchers were able to produce an acceptable '30% less sugar' chocolate by replacing sugar with a milk-based protein. 

“The control chocolate contained a standard sugar level and the trial chocolates had total sugar levels that were reduced by 30%. Consumers rated the chocolate samples according to their overall liking, liking of taste and texture and the attributes sweetness, saltiness and sandiness,” Aaltonen explains. 

The ash-protein ratio, or the amount of salt and protein, proved critical in achieving the best possible consistency in ‘30% less sugar’ chocolate. The ash-protein ratio had the strongest positive correlation with the overall liking as well as the liking of texture and taste. The ash-protein ratio had the strongest negative correlation with sandiness. 

Valio’s research findings were published in a peer reviewed article in the International Dairy Journal on February 7th, 2020. 

Gut-friendly* sugar reduction with lactose free milk powder 

Sugar in chocolate is commonly reduced by using either polyols, also known as sugar alcohols, or by adding fibre. Polyols can cause digestive discomfort if consumed in excess, and their use requires a warning label about laxative effects on product packaging.  

“When the sugar reduction is achieved with Valio’s solution, that is lactose free milk powder, no such warning is necessary. It is possible to use the claim ‘reduced sugar’ as well as claim ‘protein source’ on these chocolates,” says Aaltonen. 

Active research fuels Valio’s innovations  

Active research is at the core of Valio’s innovativeness and has been throughout the company’s history. The strong R&D heritage has resulted in a Nobel prize as well as hundreds of published research papers. Thanks to active research, Valio can bring new ingredients and ways of implementing them to help food manufacturers gain new business and to support consumers in making healthy food choices. 

*Contains calcium, which contributes to the normal function of digestive enzymes as a part of a healthy diet 

For more information.

Valio - The world’s most innovative dairy and food company

Valio’s mission is to create wellbeing and taste sensations in a responsible way. We make tasty products from milk and many other ingredients; we bring delightful tastes, variety and joy to the food table. We also carry out important roles in society: ensuring food security, enhancing public health and improving animal welfare are some examples of our impacts. In line with our mission, we are making life better. This is also the conclusion of the Finns who have chosen Valio as Finland’s most sustainable brand for seven consecutive years.

4,700 Finnish dairy farmers own Valio through cooperatives. We pay out all the profits to our milk producers through the milk price. We employ a total of 25,000 people at dairy farms. Valio has 4,000 professionals at work from different sectors and we listen to consumers with our more than 100 years of experience.

Nobel Laureate A.I. Virtanen’s legacy continues to live on with us. When he headed Valio’s laboratories, the concept of improving the wellbeing of people took root as our guiding principle. We turn science into products that make life better. Consumers in more than 60 countries enjoy Valio products, and we have 350 patents for our innovations around the world. We are Finland’s biggest food exporter and a trailblazer for the whole food industry. Valio’s sales in 2019 were EUR 1,787 million.


Servo drive system improves productivity during hard times

~ Beckhoff’s latest innovation in automation without cabinets for food manufacturing ~

Beckhoff Automation UK has launched the AMP8000 servo system, the latest product in the company’s automation without cabinets range. The AMP8000 features a servomotor with a rear-mounted servo drive for a reduced size and can provide complex motion control with minimal cabling requirements.

Because many factories across the globe have temporarily closed, and many workers have been furloughed, industry is struggling to meet demand. As a result, manufacturers need compact, uncomplicated systems to help maximise productivity. The AMP8000 will find a home on food production lines, where its core technological advantages can help improve profits.

The AMP8000 comprises a servo drive directly mounted onto a servomotor, making the design compact and easier to integrate into complex automation machine designs. The rear-mounted drive means that the AMP8000 occupies a similar footprint to a standard servomotor, making it easy to fit into existing machines without modification. The design also improves heat dissipation and reduces motor derating compared to conventional, top-mounted designs.

By relocating the power electronics directly onto the servomotor, the control cabinet only needs to house a single coupling module to supply power to several servo systems. The AMP8000 also makes use of Beckhoff’s EtherCAT P cable technology, combining 24V power and EtherCAT communication into a single standard Ethernet cable.

2020 10 21 092824

“As food production lines become more densely packed with complex automated machinery, many businesses are encountering a problem in terms of available space,” explains Stephen Hayes, managing director of Beckhoff UK. “Most complex automation requires a vast amount of cabling, which in turn increases the size of control cabinets. These, alongside the growing footprint of automated machinery, occupies space and impacts on output per square metre.

“Now more than ever, the ability to maximise output is vital for industrial businesses. The AMP8000 is designed to help achieve this. In plants, it can significantly reduce cabling requirements due to its EtherCAT P technology and the use of coupling modules. For machine builders, it allows for the development of more complex machinery with smaller footprints and faster site installation time.”

Beckhoff has designed two types of coupling module to accompany the AMP8000. The AMP8620 is a power supply module that allows for safe and direct connection to the mains supply for the servo systems, reducing the footprint and cabling complexity of machinery. This module contains all required circuitry for safe connection and include two EtherCAT P outputs to connect to other modules.

The other module is the AMP8805 distribution module, which provides power and communication to up to five AMP8000 systems using a single EtherCAT P cable each. This allows even complex machines and lines to be connected with minimal cabling and a simple topology.

Engineers or plant managers interested in the AMP8000 or wanting to learn more about the technology can speak to the Beckhoff Automation UK team at 01491 410539

About Beckhoff: Beckhoff Automation implements open automation systems based on PC Control technology. The product range covers Industrial PCs, I/O and Fieldbus components, drive technology and automation software, and all products can be used as separate components or integrated into a complete and seamless control system are available for all industries. Its New Automation Technology philosophy represents universal and open control and automation solutions that are used worldwide in a wide variety of different applications, ranging from CNC-controlled machine tools to intelligent building automation.

Ref: BEC180/09/20


Stora Enso and Tingstad launch unique formed fiber food service bowls to replace plastics

Stora Enso is introducing its new eco-friendly take-away bowls for food service packaging, PureFiber™ by Stora Enso. The products are free from plastic and PFAS and are designed to help customers replace plastic on-the-go food packaging. The bowls are being brought to market together with the wholesale company Tingstad. The PureFiber™ product range will expand to other food and consumer goods applications.

Stora Enso’s formed fiber products are designed for circularity, meaning that they are renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. The PureFiber™ product line enables a carbon footprint that is approximately 75% lower compared to alternative product materials such as plastic or bagasse. The unique formed fiber technology allows the products to be produced without plastic and PFAS, bringing a sustainable alternative with strong user-qualities to the market.

tingstad 2200x400

“Consumers are looking for products designed for more eco-friendly lives,” says Sohrab Kazemahvazi, Senior Vice President, Formed Fiber at Stora Enso. “They want to minimise waste and their carbon footprint and reduce their use of plastic. The formed fiber products we are bringing to market are game changing in the sense that they help strong brands achieve their ambitions in sustainability and the circular economy.”

Stora Enso sells its formed fiber products directly to brand owners and wholesalers. In the Nordic countries Stora Enso cooperates with wholesaler Tingstad, which sells PureFiber™ food bowls directly to customers in the fast-food industry. Tingstad is a family-owned company and the market-leading distributor of disposables and food service products to the HORECA sector in the Nordic countries.

“We strongly believe that PureFiber™ will play an important role in the market conversion from plastic to non-plastic food packaging. We are excited to bring a truly sustainable solution to the market together with Stora Enso,” says Johan Larsson, Purchasing Manager at Tingstad.

PureFiber™ products are produced in Stora Ensos Hylte Mill in Sweden and made of natural wood fibres from sustainably managed forests. Potential applications also include non-food items to replace plastic consumables in agriculture, electronics and consumer and industrial goods packaging.

For further information, please contact:
Eeva Taimisto
Head of Communications, Stora Enso Packaging Solutions
tel. +358401723832

Part of the bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading global provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper. We believe that everything that is made from fossil-based materials today can be made from a tree tomorrow. Stora Enso has some 25 000 employees in over 30 countries. Our sales in 2019 were EUR 10.1 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki (STEAV, STERV) and Nasdaq Stockholm (STE A, STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY).


Sappi encourages innovation by supporting one of the first Graphic Arts Industry Hackathons

Sappi has joined forces with VIGC (Flemish Innovation Center for the Graphic Communication) and EY in their endeavor to launch one of the first Graphic Arts Industry Hackathons. A Hackathon is a method of creative problem solving designed to boost disruptive innovation. The target of this event is to create synergies, foster innovation and trigger ideas that will future-proof the print industry by tackling and contributing solutions to its most pressing challenges.

These categories being covered are: Commercial Print, Packaging & Labels, Publishing and Industrial Printing. The hackathon will take place on 12th and 13th of October, 2020, in a virtual format, thus enabling global participation. Startups, scale-ups, students, creatives and all industry enthusiasts are encouraged to join. Registrations can be done here:

VIGC Hackathon 2020

Winners of this innovation contest will gain exposure in VIGC´s Het Congress event on October 15th, 2020, where they will have the opportunity to showcase their Minimum Viable Product/s to experts and industry decision-makers. Furthermore, they will receive €3,000, sponsored by Sappi, as well as 3 months of mentorship by Sappi experts to help them materialize their idea.

Sappi has already taken its own steps in digital innovation with OctoBoost, Sappi´s internal startup, which develops digital solutions for the print industry. “Innovation and digitization will be the catalysts of the print industry´s prosperity”, says Anna Oñate, Sappi´s Intrapreneur, Co-Founder of OctoBoost and Mentor at the VIGC Hackathon, “A Hackathon is the perfect platform to bring bright, creative minds together, willing to contribute to the industry´s transformation”

“One of the key pillars of our Digital Transformation Strategy is to create an ecosystem of digital innovators around us. We want to be closer to innovative players within and outside of our industry”, says Kouris Kalligas, Head of Digital Transformation in Sappi Europe and Mentor at the VIGC Hackathon. “A Hackathon is a celebration of Open Innovation and we want to enable as many as we can, as much as we can.”

About VIGC

VIGC: VIGC (Flemish Innovation Center for the Graphic Communication) is the independent knowledge center for graphic communication in the Benelux. The VIGC is at the service of the printing industry, its customers and its suppliers. It consists of a multidisciplinary team of seasoned domain experts and project leaders with extensive practical experience in graphic communication.

About EY:

EY is a global service provider with more than 250,000 professionals. EY The Factory, enables innovation within EY, in startups and scale-ups and inside larger corporations. EY is committed to building a better working world — with increased trust and confidence in business, sustainable growth, development of talent in all its forms, and greater collaboration. It wants to build a better working world through its own actions and by engaging with like-minded organizations and individuals.

About Sappi

Sappi is a leading global provider of sustainable woodfibre products and solutions, in the fields of Dissolving wood pulp, Printing papers, Packaging and speciality papers, Casting and release papers, Biomaterials and Bio-energy. As a company that relies on renewable natural resources, sustainability is at our core. Sappi European mills hold chain of custody certifications under the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™ C015022) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC/07-32-76) systems. Our papers are produced in mills accredited with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 50 001 and OHSAS 18001 certification. We have EMAS registration at 5 of our 10 mills in Europe. 

Sappi Europe SA is a division of Sappi Limited (JSE), headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with 12,500 employees and 19 production facilities on three continents in nine countries, 37 sales offices globally, and customers in over 150 countries around the world.

Learn more about Sappi at


MSE Systems bring in Landia pumps and mixers to help treat potato effluent

Following the successful installation two years ago of Landia Chopper Pumps and a Landia Aeration System, MSE Systems is set to install a further three units from Landia for one of the UK’s leading supplier of potatoes.

During an upgrade to the customer’s potato processing factory, Chesterfield-based MSE Systems found that the addition of a high-efficiency Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) plant would improve the activated sludge process by reducing oxygen demand. To ensure that the plant could meet future needs, a new chemical addition system was introduced to remove suspended solids, free emulsified oils, grease and elevated residual phosphorus.

2020 09 17 085602

For odour control, an 11kW Landia AirJet system was installed to mix, aerate and control odours of screened potato effluent in a balance tank. In addition, two submersible Landia Chopper Pumps were brought in to pump screened potato effluent from a 4.5m deep pit (500m away), which included an additional 4m lift.

Andy Neal, Design Manager at MSE Systems, said: “Our challenge, which meant utilising a very small footprint between the existing plants, was to help our customer meet and maintain a stringent Environment Agency discharge consent, so that they remain fully compliant. The Landia AirJet and Chopper Pumps have proved very reliable and cost-effective, so it gave us the confidence to invest further in this equipment as the best, long-term solution.

He added: “For a new packing line, two submersible Landia Chopper Pumps will pump potato effluent, whilst a Landia Jet Mix system will mix organic sludge (dissolved solids 3-5%) in a 60m3 tank”.

MSE Systems ensured that the initial installation proceeded with the minimal amount of disruption, in order for their customer to reopen on schedule. Despite the tight time frame, the new wastewater treatment plant was delivered by MSE Systems ahead of deadline and within budget.