FOOD ingredient manufacturer Australian Plant Proteins (APP) has implemented a new storage and transport solution that it says is delivering significant safety, sustainability and efficiency benefits. APP produces and supplies plant protein isolates from Australiangrown pulses such as faba beans and lentils, using a proprietary extraction process that doesn’t require solvents
or enzymes. The company’s primary production facility at Horsham has recently switched from using bulk bags for managing its raw materials to a relatively new product to the Australian market called UniBox.
It is a food-grade reusable transport and storage solution for handling flowable products, such as grain, seeds and granules. Operations manager Puneet Chawla said the UniBox system had
significantly improved day-to-day productivity, cost-efficiency and safety at the site. The company estimates the new system is saving $30 a tonne of processed beans, about $250,000 a year.
“We currently process 12 tonne of faba beans and lentils per day, with more capacity due online next year which will see us processing more than 30 tonnes per day,” Mr Chawla said.
“Until now we have been using bulk bags, which of course are only single use and have challenges with storage space, the risk of tipping or tearing, as well as potential issues with spoilage and rodents.
“The UniBox have solved all of these problems, as well as delivering significant time and cost savings.” Imported and marketed in Australia by United Ag, UniBox units can handle up to 1200kg loads. United Ag director Tim McFarlane said the heavy-duty construction made them a smart, reusable alternative to bulk bags. “The UniBox are made from highdensity Polyethylene and meet food grade standards with the option of a stainless-steel bottom plate,” he said. “They seal completely with a secure lid to give good protection against infestation, contaminants or spoilage.”
The containers stack and nest for efficient warehousing and freight, with a semi-load holding 18 full UniBox units. Mr Chawla said the system was more efficient than moving and emptying bulk bags. “It’s better than half the time, which is a lot when you add that up over a week or month,” he said. Full UniBox can be stacked twohigh and empty ones four high. “We can store three tonnes of product in the space we used to only be able to store one tonne,” Mr Chawla said.