Archive for the ‘Processing’ Category

KHS presents new chunk dosing unit and compact systems at Anuga FoodTec

December 16th, 2017
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At Anuga FoodTec in Cologne, Germany, the KHS Group will have compact and flexible systems specially designed for the beverage, food and dairy industries on display. KHS will be exhibiting its systems at booth A60/A68 in hall 8.1 at Anuga FoodTec.

“Users gain many benefits when fillers can be combined with our Blomax stretch blow molder to form a compact block system,” says Thomas Redeker, sales director for Dairy Europe at KHS. The flexible and compact filling and packaging systems from the KHS Group cut down on space are safer and more reliable and provide greater energy efficiency. For sensitive applications, the new block systems can be provided as rotary or linear setups. Here, the sustainable filling technology can be expanded to suit customer requirements and is thus rapidly available on the market. This, in turn, caters to current trends: whether yoghurt drinks or breakfast on-the-go, the demand is for increasingly diverse products and packaging.

Chunk Dosing Unit- KHS

Chunk Dosing Unit- KHS

Flexible systems for all applications

In this context “sensitive” refers to an extremely gentle non-carbonated filling process. Here, it is not important whether fruit juices, dairy or liquid food products are to be filled, whether ultraclean filling, extended shelf lives or aseptic filling are required. “We’ve rounded out our portfolio for the sensitive segment and provide systems for many types of application,” states Redeker.

When it comes to chunk filling KHS has extended its portfolio to include its own chunk dosing unit which enables pulp with chunks measuring 10 x 10 x 10 millimeters to be gently filled. The new dosing unit can be installed on all linear systems and supplements the existing filling system. This new innovation will be on display in Cologne. Another focus of the trade show will be the individual production of PET packaging, also in combination with the FreshSafe PET® coating system, which unites the advantages of both glass and plastic in one bottle to protect the product.

Focus on sustainability and resource efficiency

“There is a clear consumer trend towards PET,” explains Redeker. “In the food sector, too, where glass filling was standard to date, manufacturers are increasingly favouring flexible, lightweight plastic.” KHS has a special system for the flat, oval PET containers which are frequently used for products such as ketchup or edible oil: for containers like these, a special heating method known as preferential heating ensures optimum material distribution and bottle quality.

With its Bottles & Shapes™ program KHS also provides individual support to all those looking for the best possible PET packaging for their products. In addition to the lightweight bottles for still water recently produced or the PET bottle with a screw cap for highly carbonated beverages, KHS has convinced the market with its 1.0-liter bottle for milk and mixed milk beverages which weighs just 20 grams. Together with the University of Applied Sciences in Münster KHS has also developed a number of future-proof bottle design concepts.

Service concept further developed

In order that everything runs like clockwork for customers also after their purchase, KHS attaches great importance to outstanding service too.



Processing, Technology , ,

New Way to Improve Bread Making Process

October 28th, 2017
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Breadmaker Pré Pain, Technology Unlimited and URESH AG have developed a dough processing workflow claiming to improve the quality of bread.

Pré Pain worked with plant engineering firm Technology Unlimited, a supplier to industrial bakeries in the Netherlands, among other partners. Together with URESH AG, Technology Unlimited has now developed a process that enables Pré Pain to optimize the production of the pre-ferment. The pre-ferment is the basis for bread helping achieve characteristics such as fine crust, lightness and airy and longer shelf life.

Fully-automated production process

A special pump mixes flour, water, salt and yeast to produce the pre-ferment. The pre-ferment is then pumped to a pre-conditioned tank, where it can rise for at least eight hours. The process preserves the structure and prevents clumping. The dough is then transported in portions to the dough conditioning container. The hygienic URESH pigging system is responsible for this workflow, and guarantees dough-friendly transport through the pipes. A pig is a flexible silicone structure used to clean pipes. At the same time, the procedure keeps the pipes clean. The process also allows the pipeline network to be emptied completely. The next batch can then be processed without losses and delays. The pre-ferment production process is fully automated. Urs Hofer, CEO of URESH AG, explains: “This application calls for a hygienic pig that must eject the pre-ferment with zero pulsation – the special shape of the URESH pig guarantees that.”

Another use is the clear separation of two consecutive batches of a product, as is the case in the pre-ferment production process. Pigging is characterized by low product losses and time saving in the cleaning process, according to the producer.

Source & Image: World Bakers


Bakery, Processing ,

Mettler-Toledo Ensures Up to 95% Less False Rejects

May 1st, 2015
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Manufacturers and processing companies in the meat and poultry, dairy, bakery and ready meal segments, and those who produce products packaged in metallised film, can now achieve detection sensitivity levels previously only seen in dry product inspection.

For years, the “product effect”—the electrical signal detected in some foods with a high moisture, salt content or packaged in metallised film—has reduced detection sensitivities significantly below the levels achieved with inspections of dry non-conductive food products. Using a sophisticated inspection algorithm, Mettler-Toledo’s newly launched Profile Advantage metal detector all but removes the ‘product effect’ phenomenon from the process. This results in up to 50% improvements in detection sensitivity levels irrespective of packaging material, ensuring that the Profile Advantage finds more metal contaminants than traditional systems in challenging applications such as wet, warm or chilled food.

In addition, the solution is capable of rigorously reducing the number of false rejects. For example meat and poultry producers can typically see false rejects rates associated with ‘product effect’ reduced by up to 95% when trying to detect the smallest metal contaminants. The Profile Advantage uses pioneering multi-simultaneous frequency (MSF) technology to step change performance.

With recent changes to retailer Codes of Practice and more stringent standards being applied across the food industry by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), manufacturers are looking for ways to ensure the removal of metal contaminations with high production line efficiency and bottom line savings.

The Profile Advantage enables significant cost saving to be realised, through fewer incorrect product rejects and less operational downtime investigating the issue. For those food producers keen on monitoring Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), it maintains an attractive Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for metal inspection compared to other technology offerings.

“Conquering the product effect phenomenon has been a key issue for our industry for some time,” explained Jonathan Richards, Head of Marketing at Mettler-Toledo Safeline Metal Detection. “Our Profile Advantage system is a major technological breakthrough in metal detection capability as it helps manufacturers increase brand protection, reduce costs and improve productivity. Consequently, the new system supports food companies to produce only contaminant-free product in their manufacturing facility. Combining this reliable performance with an overall low Total Cost of Ownership calculation enables metal detection to become the preferred technology choice”.

Central to the multi-simultaneous frequency technology of the Profile Advantage is the ‘3S’ algorithm and its Product Signal Suppression feature. Unlike conventional metal detectors, that simply capture and store the active product signal, the Profile Advantage modifies the signal during setup so that the food product presents itself as if it were a dry product without product effect. Once production starts the detection algorithm is applied to each of the products that pass through the detector. As such, much higher levels of detection sensitivity are achieved as the active product signal is perceived as being negligible and the detection envelope for contaminants is optimised.

The Product Signal Suppression feature is not only able to cope with challenging applications of wet, moist, high salt content products or those that are in a state of flux cooling or thawing, but also with products packaged in metallised film. This packaging type has, up until now, made it more difficult for detectors to compete with other types of technology on performance. However, with MSF technology, the Profile Advantage meets factory inspection standards on most metal types and delivers considerably higher performance when detecting aluminium contaminants.

The Profile Advantage combines both a highly sensitive detector with innovative, predictive analytics of detection performance to be undertaken by the system’s software using a Condition Monitoring feature. This can reduce the number of time-intensive performance tests conducted each day. The machine informs operatives if any preventative action needs to be taken to maintain the factory’s standard of detection sensitivity. Reducing the performance testing required each day offers better production throughput and uptime and OEE is maximised.

Source: Asia Food Journal


Companies, Processing, Technology , , ,

Pack Expo Las Vegas 2015 will feature its largest-ever show floor

May 1st, 2015
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pack-expo-las-vegasPack Expo 2015 will help manufacturers from more than 40 market segments capitalize on current growth by providing access to the latest solutions for enhancing the efficiency, flexibility, automation, sustainability and productivity of their supply chains.

PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, anticipates this year’s event will be the largest-ever Pack Expo Las Vegas, Las Vegas Convention Center, September, 28–30.

Alongside the Las Vegas debut of Pharma Expo, the event, bolstered by optimistic reports on the U.S. manufacturing sector, will bring together more than 2,000 exhibitors showing their processing and packaging innovations to 30,000 attendees in over 800,000 net square feet of exhibit space.

“By connecting manufacturing professionals and suppliers representing so many different market segments, Pack Expo events play a critical role in driving manufacturing forward,” says Charles D. Yuska, president and CEO of PMMI.

Past attendee Chay Vue, engineering director, Sargento, describes his Pack Expo experience in similar terms.

“The breadth of equipment and exhibitors at Pack Expo is amazing; it is truly all-encompassing. I’m able to look for new technologies, discover innovations and seek out equipment to retrofit and modernize our production lines. All the vendors and suppliers are here for me to meet,” Vue says.
The benefit of co-locating Pack and Pharma Expo lies in the common challenges and solutions industries face, Yuska notes, adding “Pack Expo and Pharma Expo offer a unique opportunity to find inspiration and ‘cross-pollinate’ ideas across applications and industries.”

Veteran Pack Expo attendee Paul Davis, a project engineer with Hearthside Food Solutions who was at Pack Expo International 2014, says the co-location takes Pack Expo to a new level.

“I’ve attended at least a dozen Pack Expo shows,” says Davis. “The addition of Pharma Expo is definitely a highlight. So many technologies in pharma are applicable to food and vice versa. That synergy is great.”

To help attendees make the most of their time at the co-located events, Pack Expo Las Vegas and Pharma Expo 2015 will include a variety of customer-centric features designed to direct them to the technologies they need.

Pavilions include The Processing Zone, a hub for processing innovations, and The Brand Zone, a showcase for materials and containers to shape brands. Attendees from the baking and snack, beverage and confectionery sectors can network with peers and suppliers at their respective industry-specific lounges — The Baking–Snack Break, The Beverage Cooler and The Candy Bar.

They can also gain strategic insights on material and equipment trends, regulatory challenges and best practices to advance operations with free on-floor educational programming at the Innovation Stage, exhibitor booths, the Center for Trends & Technology, sponsored by Rockwell Automation and its Partner Network the Food Safety Summit Resource Center and ISPE’s world-class conference program.

Fisher House chosen for the selfless work  

This year, the organizers have chosen Fisher House for the selfless work they do providing comfort to the families of wounded veterans.

Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. Located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide, and in Europe, the program has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated USD 282 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation.

“Donating to Fisher House allows us to give back to the brave men and women who have suffered unimaginable trauma while defending our country,” Yuska said. 

”We are grateful for PMMI and their professionals for their support of Fisher House Foundation,” says Foundation President David Coker. “We could not continue the work we do without advocates like them.” 

Source: World Bakers


Events, Packaging, Processing

Future of automation at Anuga FoodTec 2015

January 17th, 2015
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The digitization of production has set in motion a comprehensive change in automation that many experts already refer to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or simply Industry 4.0.
Where today’s food industry plants are centrally controlled, future cyber-physical systems will take command and organize production themselves. The goal is the intelligent factory, which is characterized by adaptability, ergonomics and resource efficiency. Industry 4.0 can be a reality within the next two decades.

Visitors to Anuga FoodTec, which runs March 24 to 27, 2015, in Cologne, Germany, can experience how real the convergence of production and enterprise information technology (IT) already is and the challenges involved for future automation. Industry 4.0 will be the buzzword in many booths of this international trade fair for food and beverage industry suppliers. Nearly 200 companies of the more than 1,400 Anuga FoodTec 2015 exhibitors will present solutions in the field of automation. These include industry giants such as Siemens, Rockwell, B & R, Endress + Hauser, Festo, Mitsubishi and CSB, as well as many small- and medium-sized companies with special solutions.

These companies want to assist with making food and beverage production more flexible and more efficient. To do so, machines and products need to communicate with each other, similar to a social network. The factory of the future will be intelligent and networked. One example is how robotics might change. While industrial robots still perform their tasks behind safety barriers, lightweight robots will soon assist humans without a fence and rigid controls. Industry 4.0 is about the convergence of production and enterprise IT, and Anuga FoodTec is the place to get a jumpstart and be a leader not a follower.

Anuga FoodTec is the only trade fair in the world that covers all aspects of food production. Five exhibition segments of Anuga FoodTec — Food Processing, Food Packaging, Food Safety, Ingredients (new for 2015) and Services/Solutions — form one transparent information system for all areas of the industry and for all levels of resources. For the industry visitor, Anuga FoodTec encompasses all the synergies of a process-orientated production chain, from raw material to delivery-ready end product.

At the last edition in 2012, Anuga FoodTec drew a record-breaking 43,000 highly qualified trade visitors from 126 countries. Visitors grew by 27 per cent, space by 21 per cent and exhibitors by 10 per cent. Current exhibit and space sales promise yet another record-breaker for the 2015 edition.

To assist visitors with organizing their visit, it is now possible to search the database of new technologies that will be on display. This can be accessed at:

Anuga FoodTec is organized by Koelnmesse and the DLG (Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft – German Agricultural Society). For more information, contact Veronica Woods at 773-326-9922 or, or visit



Events, Food Safety, Ingredients, Packaging, Processing , ,

How to measure food, confectionery and packaging permeability to extend products’ shelf life

November 15th, 2014
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Keeping confectionery and snacks in good condition over an extended shelf life is now possible by measurement of gas permeability.

Tuning the vapour permeability of your packaging to your specific products can improve the shelf life and quality of a snack or confectionery.

Versaperm’s permeability meters can measure food, confectionery and packaging permeability for a huge range of gasses, including water vapour, oxygen and virtually any other common gas.

It is fast, reliable and accurate (usually in the Parts Per Million – PPM range) and can test both material samples and finished packaging under a wide range of conditions – it can even test metalized foil packages, sachets, sugar coatings and barrier materials. It can also determine the equilibrium relative humidity (ERH) of products that might decompose using other measuring techniques.

The producer needs to understand a little bit of the science of permeability. Staleness and reduced shelf life are mainly the result of the packaging’s porousness – which needs to keep the balance and flow of gasses such as water vapour and oxygen just right for each specific product.

With some materials these results can be produced in as little as 30 minutes, but even with hard to measure foils, results can normally be turned around in a day.

Permeability is also a major factor in print quality. Sadly the two don’t always go hand-in-hand and packaging innovation and branding is sometimes sacrificed. Materials, packaging construction and improvement all demand development and quality control, and this is where the new permeability measurement systems from Versaperm come to the fore.

The system is far faster and is usually more accurate than conventional gravimetric technique measurements, which takes days or even weeks to perform.  It can also, optionally, measure not just water vapour permeability, but the permeability for virtually all gasses including carbon dioxide, nitrogen and oxygen.

A fast turn-around laboratory testing service is also available.

Source: World Bakers


Confectionery, Packaging, Processing , ,

GMPs, FSMA and GFSI: Making the Right Connections

August 29th, 2014
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haccp_logoGood manufacturing practices play an obvious role in both FSMA and GFSI schemes, but in reality, you won’t pass FSMA muster or obtain a GFSI certification if you haven’t done your GMP homework.

As FDA regulations spell out in 21 CFR Part 110, good manufacturing practices (GMPs) or current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs) are the basics you need to know and perform to keep the food products you make free of adulteration—whether from bacteria or chemicals. It doesn’t take long after you start reading 21 CFR Part 110 for you to realize these rules and regulations are simply based on common sense. After all, you take the same precautions when you prepare a meal for your family, whether from fresh or processed ingredients.

In fact, cGMPs are a basic part of FSMA and any GFSI scheme, along with HACCP (also found in Codex Alimentarius) and prerequisite programs (PRPs). All GFSI schemes approach food safety differently, but the outcome is the same: A certification from SQF, BRC or FSSC 22000 should be satisfactory for your customer, showing you have a documented HACCP plan(s) and risk-based preventive controls in place (HARPC)—and your staff and plant live and breathe food safety cGMPs.

As much as cGMPs are the building blocks of FSMA and GFSI schemes, the latter two not only have a mutual interrelationship, they both reflect back on and modulate cGMPs. You might say the three are contributing to each other’s growth and interconnectedness as we progress along the path toward food safety refinements with the help of technology.

cGMPs: Evolving with the times

For those interested in reminiscing, GMPs were actually started in the mid-1960s and first published in 1968, according to Jack Payne, Aptean vice president of solution consulting.  A lot has changed since the Ozzie & Harriet days of the ‘50s and the turbulent ‘60s when not that much attention was paid to food safety. With the evolution from local to national and international supply chains, interest in food safety has picked up, and cGMPs have evolved to match today’s needs, adds Payne.

“Both FSMA and GFSI are changing or have changed cGMPs,” says Jim Cook, SGS food scientific and regulatory affairs manager. Revised in June 1986, cGMPs have changed little since they were amended in April 1996 and November 2001, according to Cook. “While what was listed was a common sense approach, the use of ‘shall’ and ‘should’ in the guidelines resulted in some manufacturers adhering to the ‘shall’ requirements but ignoring the ‘should’ requirements, thereby creating gaps in their systems,” adds Cook. It’s these gaps that often show up later on as processors prepare for FSMA or GFSI audits.

According to Cook, GFSI has taken these “should” requirements, made them “shall” requirements and expanded or clarified those areas. FSMA will remove most of the “should” requirements and convert some of them to “shall” requirements. For example: When it comes to Toilet Facilities and Handwashing, both FSMA and cGMPs state this is a requirement. However, they go on to state, “this may be accomplished by” and provide a list of how it may be done. In addition, GFSI requirements have turned “may be” requirements into “shall” requirements and have modified some, such as (d)(4): “providing doors that do not open into areas where food is exposed to airborne contamination, except …” where these exceptions have been removed. Validation of these exceptions would need to be accomplished by the facility for any of them to be utilized based on GFSI requirements.

“FSMA and GFSI platforms ensure a facility maintains and implements a robust cGMP program,” says Warren Gilbert, FSS Corp. food safety specialist. “They are specific regarding employee hygiene and awareness for product handling.”

While cGMPs provide the foundation for a food safety system, it is imperative to have a strong foundation of prerequisite programs in place to control basic food safety issues, says Jeff Chilton, principal of the Chilton Consulting Group. “This foundation also prevents certain hazards from becoming reasonably likely to occur, therefore reducing the number of CCPs required in HACCP plans.” Prerequisite programs include, for example, GMPs, sanitation, microbial control, pest control, allergen control, foreign material control, maintenance, training, calibrations, supplier approval, potable water, waste disposal, and storage and transport. “Effective PRP development [and] implementation are crucial to the success of the food safety system. Most failures in food safety systems that cause recalls for reasons such as allergen labeling or pathogen contamination are due to failures within these PRPs rather that a CCP failure,” adds Chilton.

“GFSI standards have definitely added more substance to the cGMPs,” Chilton continues. “All the GFSI schemes require verification and validation of these PRPs at least annually.” When done properly, this verification and validation process includes a review of the written programs, plant inspections to verify compliance, reviews to ensure effective implementation and analytical report reviews to ensure effective validation. These verification and validations ensure the programs are effective and identify opportunities for continuous improvement. FSMA will add more substance, too, once the final rules are published with anticipated additional requirements coming with the cGMP regulations, according to Chilton.

“The goal of FSMA is to shift the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it,” says Jennifer Wondergem, SSOE Group chemical engineer. “This places significant responsibility on farmers and food processors to prevent contamination. cGMPs are the main tool food processors have to monitor and control food safety within their processes. FSMA [Section 101] gives FDA access to all plant records, including industry food safety plans and the records firms will be required to keep to document implementation of their plans.”

Getting started

While writing this article I received an email from an American consultant who is helping processors in Central and South America. A major seminar was recently held on FSMA in Brazil by the Brazilian agency ANVISA, which controls food regulations. This consultant reports  most Brazilian producers/processors, except the large international processors that are starting plants in South America, are just beginning to get on board with FSMA.

Unfortunately, getting on board with FSMA, GMPs and GFSI can be tough for smaller operations. “We see this a lot with smaller startup companies,” says Gilbert. “People just don’t know what they don’t know. It’s a learning process for them, and sometimes, they don’t know where to look for information.”

“This happens mainly with small manufacturers that have been providing an item to specialty retailers or their domestic market, and now, that item is being sold, or they desire it to be sold, to large retailers and/or the international market,” says SGS’s Cook. “GFSI identified this issue and developed a Basic cGMP audit program and accompanying requirements. Many GFSI schemes offer gap assessments, training and/or consultants to help companies achieve the desired compliance goals. An SQF Level 1 audit mainly involves a cGMP audit program and compliance.”

Even processors that think they’re prepared for FSMA or GFSI audits may be in for a surprise. “We receive calls every week from companies needing to become GFSI certified to meet customer requirements,” says Chilton. “It is common for companies to think they have good cGMPs in place, but when they are audited, numerous nonconformances are often identified that expose serious vulnerabilities in their food safety and quality systems.”

Evaluating the “gap” or the unknown

It’s the gap analysis that reveals the unknown—the surprise(s) where there’s some small detail missing from a processor’s GMPs that could spell trouble down the road. Better to find out now what remedies are needed to achieve a GFSI certification rather than wonder why a recall was needed for a product that never had problems before. “A [gap audit] is a good start for any processor,” suggests Gilbert. “Depending on the gap format chosen, it will give the facility good initial direction that will help with a timeline and budget for implementation.”

A gap audit performed by a technically competent internal or external auditor is essential to determine any areas that need to be addressed, says SGS’s Cook. This assessment is needed before any regulatory, customer or certification audit takes place. After a gap assessment, it is also essential that someone equally technically competent performs a root cause analysis and implements both corrective and preventative actions to address any found nonconformances. Unfortunately, in many small businesses, a person with this level of competency is not on staff, and they must obtain a consultant or third party to complete these tasks, adds Cook.

“Upon completion of the gap audit, a gap analysis will provide the processor with a clear summary of where gaps exist between its documentation and the standards,” says SSOE’s Wondergem. The analysis will also result in a list of corresponding actions that should be taken to close those gaps. This analysis can be done by a third party or internally, if the processor has the resources.

For processors thinking GFSI, a gap analysis is indispensable. “The gap analysis assesses the effectiveness of [a processor’s] existing programs, records and facility,” adds Chilton. “The gap analysis also compares all the GFSI standard requirements to identify what must be done to comply with the standard to achieve certification. With our consulting process, we also create action registers to formulate a strategy to correct the gaps to bring the client into compliance with the GFSI standard.”

Updating 21 CFR Part 110 to reflect the times

Soon, GFSI and FSMA will influence 21 CFR Part 110 in the areas of documentation and PRPs. “FDA’s 21 CFR Part 110 regulations on cGMPs already provide the foundation for a sound food safety program,” says Wondergem. “To accommodate requirements for FSMA and/or GFSI certifications, I could see them being expanded to include more guidance for controls and documentation since [they are] a major component of any certification program.”

“FDA’s GMP regulations are expected to be updated when the FSMA final rules are published,” says Chilton. “The GMPs will be strengthened and expanded to include additional items such as all the PRPs identified in the GFSI standards. In addition, the scope will be expanded beyond [human] food processing and will also apply to animal food and feed. Last, it will raise the bar for international companies exporting to the US, requiring them to meet the same standards.”

The updated GMPs also will show the shift from a HACCP environment to preventive controls, that is Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC). “cGMPs are being updated by FDA to create a link between them and the HARPC requirements,” explains Cook. “Probably the greatest area of change between the old cGMPs and the new will be in allergen management. This is being done because a large percentage of recalls are attributed to undeclared allergens. GFSI programs are addressing this issue.”

Tools to pull the loose ends together

Processors can get help with cGMPs, GFSI and/or FSMA from a variety of free or fee-based sources. “FDA’s 21 CFR Part 110 is a good starting point for a facility wanting to get FSMA or GFSI certification,” offers SSOE’s Wondergem. On its website, FDA provides HACCP Principles and Application Guidelines, which outline how a processor can develop, implement and maintain a HACCP plan. FSMA and GFSI offer guidance documents and other resources that demonstrate the requirements to become certified. Third-party auditors such as SQF provide information including audit checklists that can help prepare a facility for an audit.

SGS provides training programs for cGMP, HACCP and HARPC. Additionally, there are programs to help processors decide which GFSI scheme is appropriate for a particular business, with further training available in a specific GFSI scheme. Further training and information for each GFSI program also can be obtained through the scheme owner. For FSMA, SGS offers information through webinars, white papers and other specific training. In addition, FDA offers videos, webinars and training for food defense. USDA’s DSIS offers webinars and training on food defense.

Consultants like Chilton Consulting Group, FSS Corp. and SGS offer several services. For example, FSS Corp. offers classes for HACCP and internal auditor, SQF and BRC training. Chilton Consulting Group has partnered with SafetyChain Software to help clients automate, streamline and improve their food safety and quality assurance systems.

Problem is, some of today’s processors are still operating in the pre-computer era. Aptean’s Payne describes a typical scenario he’s seen at many processor locations. “They may have a very good food safety plan, a good HACCP plan and all the procedures in place, but how many are ensuring these procedures are followed every day and every shift? In most cases, they have a notebook where they write down that they have checked the temperature in the cooler, the cook temperature or whatever parts of their HACCP plan they followed.” But do they remember to put these entries into the manual, and are they alerted or reminded to make the entries automatically? And, if a food safety event occurs, how can they correlate the information and show what happened—much less provide the information to an auditor on a timely basis? “We need some type of formal, auditable software system that provides the ability to notify or alert operators when they need to take readings and advise management when prescribed actions weren’t taken,” states Payne.

At a recent conference I attended, a couple of food processors asked if software tools were readily available to help them prepare for an FSMA audit or a GFSI certification. To get some answers, I posed this question to a few software suppliers. From the responses I received, there are two main types of software.

There are static forms (often based on Microsoft Word, Excel or Access templates), and there are other, more automated systems that demand user participation. “Rather than filling out a standalone static document, processors can look into filling out actionable documents, where key data is extracted and put into a centralized database,” explains Gary Nowacki, TraceGains CEO. These tools can be used to alert operators when it is time to inspect or maintain a machine or gather fresh information from ingredient suppliers. “Once the actionable database is in place, processors can respond quickly to internal audits, GFSI readiness and third-party auditors,” says Nowacki.

“One of the things we provide is a utility, which we call an event management framework, that records specific events or actions that typically define part of a food safety plan,” says Aptean’s Payne. This utility is an application that prevents operators from moving to new tasks if the present ones haven’t been completed and signed off. “It prevents operators from getting ‘too busy.’” Also, quality (a software module) should be part of an enterprise system where information is recorded as ingredients come in the door, are processed and go out the door as finished product. All parts of a food safety plan should be recorded by the software, making track and trace possible at any step in the supply chain and at the processor’s facility, says Payne.

One tool constructed by SafetyChain Software allows food and beverage companies to assess risks and food safety gaps while putting HACCP, HARPC, GMP/cGMP and GFSI programs in place. According to Barbara Levin, SafetyChain senior vice president, marketing, the software provides processors with the ability “to say what they do, do what they say, make sure it works and make sure it’s documented. That’s what a food safety chain management system does.”

But is that how yours works? You may be doing all the right things in your process  in all the critical stages, have several PRPs in place and work with equipment suppliers to find sanitary designs and with architectural and engineering firms to determine what may need to be done to bring your plant up to date. But if you haven’t been documenting it all, the amount of work that needs to be done to satisfy FSMA or a GFSI audit could be overwhelming. Before your customer asks you for a GFSI certification, why not get prepared now?

What are PRPs?

According to the ISO 22000 food safety certification, prerequisite programs (PRPs) are defined as “specified procedure(s) or instruction(s), specific to the nature and size of the operation, that enhance and/or maintain operational conditions to enable more effective control of food safety hazards, and/or that control the likelihood of introducing food safety hazards to—and their contamination or proliferation in—the products(s) and product processing environment.”

In an ISO 22000 food safety management system (FSMS), PRPs basically focus on the production environment—or in other words, people and facility—which will affect food safety and the validation of a processor’s ISO 22000 FSMS. Maintaining PRPs is essential to food safety operations and obtaining ISO and GFSI certification.

For more information on PRPs and ISO 22000, see ISO 22000: The General Prerequisite Program Requirements of ISO 22000, ISO 22000 Resource Center.

Food GMP development timeline

Date  Milestone
1906 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act prohibits interested commerce in misbranded and adulterated foods, drinks and drugs
1933 FDA recommends revising 1906 act
1938 FDA passes 1938 Federal Foods, Drugs and Cosmetics Act, which provides identity and quality standards for food
Mid ’60s FDA decides to clarify FDCA through GMP regulations
1968 FDA proposes GMP regulations
1969 FDA finalizes GMP regulations
Early ’70s FDA considers promulgating industry-specific regulations
Late ’70s FDA decides to revise general GMPs rather than adopting industry-specific GMPs
1986 FDA publishes revised food GMPs
2002 FDA forms Food GMP Modernization Working Group
2004 FDA announces effort to modernize food GMPs
2007 Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packing, Labeling, or Holding Operations for Dietary Supplements (Final Rule) June 25, 2007
2011 FDA passes FSMA, which is enacted into law

Source: Food engineering magazine


Companies, Processing , , , ,

Corrosion resistant chains

July 25th, 2014
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Bakery-products-chain-200x150FB Chain has developed a range of corrosion resistant chains for the food and beverage industries. The chains do not require lubrication for optimal performance and meet EU food processing standards.

FB Chain’s plastic combination (PC) chain is constructed from food-grade engineering plastic inner links, supported by 304 grade stainless steel bearing pins and outer link plates. The chain matches the strength of standard stainless steel chain but is much quieter and 50% lighter. The bushed design of the plastic inner link ensures that in wash down applications there is no risk of food residue becoming trapped between the chain components and resulting in contamination over time.

FB Chain’s PC chain is available from stock in food-grade blue, and a general purpose white engineering plastic is also available. Both versions are supplied in sizes 3/8” to ¾” pitch. The chain is dimensionally interchangeable with stainless steel chain, meaning no adjustments to sprockets or other existing conveyor components are required.

Robert Young, process industry sales manager at FB Chain says: “Plastic combination chain – even of the non-food-grade variety – is currently only available from a small number of chain manufacturers. We aim to be the leading supplier in this niche, helping customers in the food and beverage industries to significantly improve their safety, efficiency and profitability.”

Source: Confectionery Production


Processing, Technology

Cargill CEO discusses responsible supply chains

May 30th, 2014
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cargill-logoSpeaking at the Fortune Brainstorm Green 2014 conference on May 20, Cargill President and Chief Executive Officer David MacLennan highlighted complexities and tradeoffs involved in producing more food, more sustainably as a growing global population becomes more urban and more prosperous.

MacLennan commented on the implications of prices, changing diets and climate change on the future of food and cited some of the collaborative efforts in which Cargill is involved to address challenges inherent in producing food sustainably.
MacLennan was joined on the panel by Jack Sinclair, executive vice-president, grocery division, for Walmart U.S. At Walmart’s April 2014 sustainability summit, Cargill said that by 2020 it will bring more than one million acres in North America into its NextField precision agriculture system which helps farmers maximize productivity with minimum environmental impact.
Asked by panel moderator Jib Ellison what food companies should do to improve sustainable food production, MacLennan said: “Three things. Go faster. There are 900 million undernourished people in the world depending on us figuring out how to get them food. Be transparent. The world wants to know ‘where’s my food coming from, how was it made, how was it grown.’ And don’t be afraid to work in partnership, and that might be working with your competitors, NGOs, governments. We are one part of the supply chain. You need to work effectively and aggressively with the right partners.”
The Fortune Brainstorm Green conference is a leading U.S. conference on business and the environment. In his remarks, MacLennan highlighted Cargill’s efforts to improve sustainability across a diverse range of agricultural supply chains. He emphasized the need for the global food system to be resilient and adaptable in the face of the need to produce more food while protecting the planet.
Source: World Grain

Companies, Processing , , ,

Free webinar explores extending shelf life and quality

May 10th, 2014
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doughnutsA free webinar will highlight technical solutions in sweet baked goods aimed at improving product quality and significantly extending shelf life. Beneo, a manufacturer of functional ingredients, will host the webinar on May 22 at 10 a.m. (EDT).

During the webinar, Katja Reichenbach, Beneo product manager, Palatinose, and Annick Van Den Heuvel, Beneo customer technical service engineer, will examine the findings of technical trials with the company’s functional carbohydrate Palatinose (isomaltulose) in glazings and icings for both fresh and frozen packed doughnuts. The results suggest that when sucrose is partially replaced with Palatinose in the glazing or icing, there is a significant extension to shelf life of fresh packed products.  These trials have also indicated remarkable improvements in the quality of frozen donuts after defrosting.

In the webinar, we will take an in-depth look at the preparation of glazings, practical guidance for the manufacturing process and how to reduce stickiness to maximize taste and enhance visual appeal,” said Reichenbach in a news release.

Register here.

Source: Bakers Journal


Processing, Research, Technology , , ,