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&Feed millinG technoloGy
10 | January - February 2014
Having no choice is
The quest for a healthier snack
by Henri Michiels, technical commercial director, Dinnissen, The Netherlands
hildren are not getting a fair
deal when it comes to snack and
finger foods, says Henri Michiels,
technical commercial director at Dinnissen
in Sevenum, The Netherlands.
He became annoyed when his three
young children were not given choices
of more healthy foods following sporting
At the company Smood, they argue that
most finger food is not considered a healthy
option, so they engaged with Dinnissen
to develop technology through the use of
thier expertise, that was more healthy and
Talking directly with Smood, they say
“Ours is a newly introduced product range
which contains all kinds of grains, rice, wheat
and barley in their production – all of which
are healthy in their own right. On top of
that Smoods are incorporating fruits and
vegetables. Today Smood has developed
five flavours, and are working on different
colours and shapes. They are also experimenting with new flavours such as apple and
“There is no added sugar, fat or salt in
The company is called ‘smood’: short for
“Smood is the future alternative for the
current supply of finger foods,” he adds.
“Children involved in sport will often go
to the canteen afterwards and be given a
limited choice of foods such as chocolates
and sweets, products with large amounts
“Children have no choice to eat healthily
and that is not reasonable.”
All sweetness in Smoods products come
from fruit, and flavours come from added
blueberries and cranberries, etc. There are
no preservatives and the products are allnatural.
“The mixtures are dried down to five
percent moisture in an extrusion line.
The product has been on the market in
limited supplies for one year but marketing a
new product is proving difficult, this is where
Dinnissens technical knowledge and innovation comes into play.
“We have to fight against the current
established notion of what makes good
finger food,” says Mr Michiels.
He says the success of the product range
will rely on marketing. Launching a new
product of this nature will require between
three and five million Euros per year investment to introduce it to market and build
Getting the product onto supermarket
shelves is not the problem, says Smood.
“Every supermarket pushes this onto
their shelves. Getting the product onto
shelves is not the problem. Most supermarkets are level headed and know what they
want. The question is how do we reach the
consumers and attract them to the product?
“It’s about convincing consumers as to
why they should buy the product and why it
is an alternative and healthier for you.”
The company has invested three million
Euros in the project to date and is currently
linking with chefs and food specialists to
promote the range, but progress is always
limited by the attitude of ‘what’s in it for me?’
Smood says the focus now must be on
marketing, marketing and more marketing.
Smood are taking the products to shows,
promoting them at sporting events and even
through social media as ways to get the message across to consumers.
“Smood are going in four or five different
direction to get our messages out there.”
Development & refinement
Meanwhile development and refinement
“No, we are not content at the moment,”
Mr Michaels told GFMT in January.
“We would like to add more colours to
the food while keeping it all natural. We are
at version three or four and we are dedicated to constantly improving the product.
“Our main issue is with how much sugar,
fat and salt the product contains.
“That is one of the largest problems
Developing the feeds of the
In the small Dutch town of Wansum,
Dinnissen is developing a feed processing line, which includes including a
grinder, mixer, extruder, expander,
dryer, cooler and much more, to experiments with different raw materials that
may prove to have a valuable place in
animal feeds in future.
This full package of line of equipment gives us a new complete line in
which we can produce animal feed with
the newest ingredients available.
“We can process fresh vegetables,
fresh foods, insects, and new premixes
from DSM for example. It’s a feed laboratory that we are using to improve our
international technology with our partners.
Referring to insect protein in particular, Henri Michiels, Technical
Commercial Director at Dinnissen, says,
“The question comes down to how we
can best automate these processes.
“Selecting the right type of insect
and how they can most effectively be
processed, understanding yield rates,
how much is needed for animal feed,
shelf life and what their by-products are
is most important.
“And ensuring that as little energy
as possible is consumed and that it
is sufficient and sustainable are also
important,” he adds.
“In the long run,” Mr Michiels says,
the feed laboratory “will open up a
variety of options on how we produce
feed – it will be interesting to see what
is to come out of this development.”
11 | January - February 2014
with many products on the market today; they contain too much
- too much sugar percentage is
essentially killing us and bringing about a worldwide obesity
crisis effecting multiple parts of
“For example, one out of three
people in the US and Mexico are
now obese; in Holland it’s one in
five, the UK one in three. And this
trend is growing fast globally.
“The global problem is obesity,
improper nutrition and overweight
– the consequences of our inadequate food products will have
huge effects in the future.”
Compared to a regualr potato
chip for example, Mr Michiels’
product’s ratio of calories is 1.5
“Calories aren’t the problem
though – the total calories per
day is important of course, but the
average person shouldn’t eat more
than 2000 calories. The main factors are the amount of sugar and
carbohydrates in the food itself.
“Our main issue is to cut down
on sugars and carbohydrates –
these are the main issues with
The way forward
We are busy with some very prestigious
sport individuals, swimmers for example.
&Feed millinG technoloGy
4 to 6 screens changed in 40
Dinnissen has developed a brand new
hammer mill with ‘mechatronics’ that
allows automatic screen exchange.
As a result, new screens can be set
up in less then 40 seconds.
From four up to six packages of
screens for milling, animal feed as well
as aquafeed can be accommodated in
This allows the operator to select a
certain animal feed and set the screens
accordingly, says Henri Michiels, technical commercial director at Dinnissen in
Sevenum, The Netherlands.
“It provides you with an option to
change screens three-to-four times in a
day in less than 40 seconds each,” he says.
“If you do it the normal way it would
take 15-20 minutes to change screens.
And if you have two machines that are
parallel and in total producing 60 tonnes
per hour and you cannot produce for
15-20 minutes three or four times a
day, you stand to lose 60 tonnes of
production due to downtime!”
We are trying to combine our product with
swimming sports, so that everyone can enjoy
them – especially children.
“We are using the Dutch Olympic team
to help us promote a connection between
healthy food and swimming – as well as supporting general sports and activities.
“They are very enthusiastic about our
product – we don’t want to solely promote
our product though, we want to encourage
&Feed millinG technoloGy
12 | January - February 2014
The ‘0 gram’ goal & the ‘1 minute’ mix
Dry-cleaning a processing plant to zero grams, is achievable when manufacturing such
products as baby foods.
When changing formulations, production staff “pull out the shafts, vacuum suction and
then dry clean it with cloths by hand and finish with an alcohol clean, says Henri Michiels,
technical commercial director at Dinnissen in Sevenum, The Netherlands.
There is no spray cleaning. All cleaning is manual taking 20 minutes and then switching
into another recipe.
“For filling mixers we have developed a special type of feeder, this is one of the key
items for us.
“Giving us a way to bring ‘big bags’ automatically to the discharge position with no
intermediate storage and using gravity to flow the product into the mixer and onto
packaging.,“ says Mr Michiels.
Feeding with this feeder valve can achieve up to 30 tonnes per hour.
“On the same valve we can do 6kg per hour with an accuracy of plus or minus 100
“This allows us to fill the mixer very fast and mix extremely fast. This makes our product
provide a unique combination.,“ he adds.
Ten or 12 ingredients are going into each mix. And mixing is carried out within a minute.
“We take 30 samples of at least 20 grams each to compare and to look at variation in
the final mixture. This is a standard for us and we achieve variations of between two and
three percent in homogeneity – which is extremely low.”
“To achieve this within a minute is a combination of speed, design and proper angling
of the panels. As well as the way we bring the product to move.
“However, there are a lot of small details and innovations inside that I’m not at liberty
sports. Food won’t only help us get out of
this crisis, we need people not just to eat
correctly, but exercise as well; get them
away from their laptops.
The story of Dinnissen is that we currently have many projects running all around
the world. Things like baby foods are booming, expanding into coffee and cereal markets
globally. We are always looking for ways in
which we can help improve the world we
live in. It is hard trying to find the right people
to support us though – do we need R&D,
Investors, outside partners? If you do find
someone who is involved and interested –
who also happens to have a brand on the
market already, it will often be impossible to
collaborate with them to support the new
product, we need marketing people to help
us bring the brand into the global market.
We have been talking to Irish and German
companies who already have products on
the market, family owned companies that
are very interested and wanting to add
more products to the market. But they are
very careful – requiring a lot of research and
testing before releasing it to the market for
distribution. The food market in this sense is
a very traditional market. No market has as
little innovation as the food market currently,
for example, Lays chips were released in
1923, M&M’s in 1933 – even on these fronts
very little has actually been done to innovate.
Besides trying to produce better foods, the
Dinnissen company is working with customers to develop new processing equipment.
“We always seek to improve our capabilities, capacity and to innovate. Trying to make
processor more compact, while allowing for
more mixing options – reducing the need for
storage as well.
“We are also making a point to make it
easier for producers to swap to another recipe when manufacturing. This is a key item for
us, this is important to many things such as
detergents, plastics, dry foods, milk powder,
baby food, grains and cereals processing.
Every market is growing, especially in the
animal feed and food sectors, reflecting the
In feed terms the company is mainly
focused on chicken feed, but also produces
a large amount of feed for piglets, calves,
cattle, horses and racehorses.
“All kind of feeds specialised for different
needs, pellets and premixes as well. In the
grain, corn and milling area – companies such
as Cargill are our customers – we have a
wide and varied consumer base. We are very
similar to Buhler, but with far less people.
When Dinnissen was at the top in
Holland, there were at least 25 milling companies in operation at the time.
“They have since all disappeared, now
there are only three or four major players
with a few smaller companies, but most of
them have now gone out of business.
“In the past there was many more, the
competition was far more niche and varied.
Now it is aggressive and cut throat, I’m
curious as to what will happen in the next
20 years, especially in countries like Turkey
where there are many operators. In the long
term they cannot all compete.
“There are currently significant numbers
of mills in China and India; I think the same
thing that happened in Holland, England and
Germany will happen in these countries as
“Many will simply disappear. “ Dinnissen,
he says, is always looking at is own strengths
and innovations to remain competitive.
Mr Michiels identifies two or three developments which are ground-breaking in feed
terms: “Our new ‘Lean Mixing Concept’ is
one however, not many companies have
adopted this yet: Bringing big bags up and
loading them manually – using it in correlation
with a fast mixer: Mixing time that is less then
one minute and refilling the same mixer within a two-to-three minute timeframe without
any intermediates are just some advances.”
Dinnissen is 65 years old this year and has
been in operation from the same premises
since 1948. Dinnissen has a global customer
base, but up to 60 percent of its business
is done in The Netherlands, Germany and
the rest of Europe, forging strong links with
key partner companies such as Coperion in
“Coperion, for example, is a fantastic and
reliable company and their machinery is very
good. With them we produce an extrusion
line that produces our healthy finger food,”
says Mrs Michiels.
13 | January - February 2014
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January - February 2014
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Having no choice
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The quest for a healthier
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