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NZ Food Innovation Showcase

New Zealand has an enviable global reputation as a trusted supplier of food. The NZ Food Innovation Showcase will make it clear why that is, with the food chain from farm to fork detailed and our focus on quality, safety and innovation highlighted.

The NZ Food Innovation Showcase runs over three days (16 to 18 October) at Auckland’s newly built Viaduct Events Centre. Visitors from all over the world will be able to see, sample and enjoy the country’s best and newest food products and explore the technology that ensures safety and quality.

Leading-edge food technology, companies and products including QPod Systems innovation in transport for perishable goods, Hellers’ award-winning smallgoods, innovative processer Nekta Nutrition, Quina Fina tonic water, AsureQuality and FLYHIDRATE will be among those at the Showcase.

Paul Bosher, Executive Chairman of QPod Systems, recalls 1969. “The moon landing showed that technology can change the world. We are not a big company, and I’m not saying it’s the same, but what we have done may change the way in which the world ships highly perishable foods to market. Russell Hinds, Retired Chief of Transportation and Packaging, Research Division for the US Department of Agriculture, has said ‘QPods are one of the most significant developments in unitised transport of perishable products since the advent of refrigerated sea containers in the 1950s’.
“New Zealand has fostered a culture of people not afraid to push the boundaries of science and innovation. For many of us this is ingrained into our psyche. What we lack in financial resource we make up with determination and persistence.”

Paul says that NZ Food Innovation Showcase visitors will be able to see the QPod and find out how it will bring flexibility to their distribution systems. “This Kiwi innovation overcomes the problems of breaks in the cool chain, temperature compromises and hotspots.”

Leading science also makes an appearance supporting New Zealand’s enviable food safety record. “At the NZ Food Innovation Showcase we will be featuring an innovative solution that provides independent verification of a product’s food safety, quality, traceability, provenance and sustainability,” says AsureQuality’s Sandra Sames. “We will be offering producers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers a way to access information that will support a product’s integrity and trustworthiness.”

While governments and buyers appreciate the value technology provides, consumers also have an interest in the products and innovations on show. “We will be presenting our award-winning free-farmed bacon products, along with our very successfully launched free farmed sausage and cooked roast range,” says Brydon Heller of ‘NZ’s butcher’ Hellers. “Kiwis consume lots of bacon and sausages. Hellers is the largest manufacturer of bacon, ham and sausages in New Zealand and visitors to the Showcase will discover – and taste – why.”

Another innovative processer at the Showcase is Nekta Nutrition. The company exports throughout Asia but the products are of global interest, says Adriana Tong. “We are delighted to showcase our products and technology at the NZ Food Innovation Showcase. Visitors will see three ranges of primary foods processed using sophisticated technology into value-added consumer and baking industry products blended with internationally-known natural foods, to provide functional, appealing foods that deliver both taste and health benefits. Among these is a kiwifruit carbohydrate that allows substantial reductions in animal and dairy fats and reduced need for additives, yet achieving a moister finished product with a higher yield. Other innovations include world-leading ‘fresh dry’ functional fruits and vegetables that add a new dimension to the snack market, and the patented process ‘Liquid Kiwifruit’ beverage range.”

Beverages that make a world-wide splash are something that Kiwi businesses are renowned for. Think 42 Below, Lemon & Paeroa and Steinlager. Alexander Gledhill of Quina Fina Tonic Water, already being touted as the ‘next big thing’ in international drinks, says New Zealand companies are perfectly placed to provide alternatives in market niches that have seen very little innovation in recent years. “Quina Fina Tonic Water is a great example. We're operating in a very small niche and in a product category that has had very little development. We emphasize real provenance of ingredients in our brand, something new to the industry. Quina Fina uses a natural quinine extract, organic lemon and pure cane sugar. Using premium ingredients with real provenance makes us stand out from the major tonic water brands.”

While tonic water makes sense when you think of food, there are some things that take a greater cognitive leap. But when you take a New Zealand point-of-view the distance doesn’t seem so great – probably because the distance from the ‘land of the long white cloud’ to the rest of the world is, in reality, as far as it can be.

FLYHIDRATE is the world’s first scientifically-formulated three beverage system designed to counter the major stresses of long-haul flying. Company director Chris Watkins says the beverage formulations focus on dehydration, radiation exposure and poor circulation. “For the first time, at the NZ Food Innovation Showcase, the finished packaged product will be publicly demonstrated in a simulated aircraft environment that showcases how it is used. This will be the global launch of an as-yet unseen product that will be a global first in the market place that will benefit both airline crews and passengers. FLYHIRATE is the culmination of 18 months of research collaboration between teams from the University of Otago’s School of Physical Education and Department of Food Science, and leading nutritionists. The New Zealand Ministry of Science and Innovation, which invests in businesses to grow New Zealand’s economy through science and innovation, has co-funded Flyhidrate Ltd’s research and development.”

With visitors from all over the world with flights to catch back home, this is just one sample of many that will attract intense attention and interest.

The NZ Food Innovation Showcase welcomes visitors from all over the world to see and explore New Zealand’s leading-edge food technology, companies and products. New Zealand’s food science, processing, packaging, safety, and innovation expertise will be on display to industry professionals, as well as to the public at set times.

Invitations have been extended to some of the world’s biggest food importers and leading international food buyers collectively responsible for billions of dollars of purchasing.

Together, the NZ Food Innovation Showcase and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development will be promoting value-add food products, showing that New Zealand is far more than a primary producer, having serious capability with food technology and leading science.

The showcase exhibition is free of charge to any food industry professional who pre-registers online at


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