NEW ZEALAND – Fonterra and Apollo Foods, an innovative start-up company have partnered to launch a new technology capable of running dairy and fruit beverages to boost the beverage industry in New Zealand.

They have collaborated to install an innovative beverage filling technology that allows production of different containers on site and fill them with a range of products on one production line.

The facility will perform quality control checks and allow for a superior fresh taste experience over an extended shelf life, providing opportunities for outlets to stock a greater range of products and in turn gives consumers more choice.

According to Leon Clement, Managing Director of Fonterra Brands New Zealand, the technology was necessitated by a growing global demand for beverage and fruit beverages, and provides both companies establish in international markets.

The new technology increases capability to meet customer demand, having a capacity of millions of litres of beverages every year.

“As high-quality drinks play an increasingly large role in consumers’ diets around the world, New Zealand companies have a real opportunity to create value-adding initiatives across our primary industry sectors,” said Mr Clement.

“By taking an innovative partnership approach to production with Apollo Foods, we have been able to open up new opportunities for future brands – and create even more value for our farmers.”

The plant will produce a new formulation of flavored milk, Mammoth which contains 40% less sugar and has a shelf life of six months.

Fonterra will launch new dairy drinks under new and existing brands made on the production line while Apollo Foods will make products of its choice.

Apollo Foods, established in 1996 has gained ground in value addition in grade apple processing through technical funding.

BayWa-controlled T&G Global bought a half stake in Apollo Foods in 2014 for $1 million before selling for an undisclosed sum in 2016.

According to the NZ Food Innovation Network (NZFIN) website, the processing technology was chosen due to its scalability, flexibility and the ability to achieve the required shelf life under ambient conditions.

Trials on formulations were done using ‘Xenos aseptic filling technology’ with a bottling facility that can produce bottles for both companies.