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EU-China Food Safety Project Ramps Up Fight Against Fraud

July 1st, 2017
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The Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast will lead one of the world’s largest food safety projects across Europe and China. The European Horizon 2020 program and Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) program have been awarded €10 million (US$11.2 million) towards an EU-China partnership to improve food safety and tackle food fraud.

The EU-China-Safe project will involve key players in the food industry, research organizations and Governments across two of the world’s largest trading areas.

Food fraud manifests itself in many ways, from horse meat labeled and sold as beef like the scandal in Europe in 2013, to illicit oil which saw slaughterhouse waste and sewage used in cooking oil, known as the 2014 ‘gutter oil’ scandal in China.

EU-China-Safe will reduce food fraud and improve food safety through focusing on improving food legislation, food inspection and increasing access to information across both continents.

State-of-the-art technologies including a virtual laboratory will create a unique space to share and demonstrate best practice. The use of innovative technologies will result in improved detection of adulteration of food products as well as increased traceability and transparency of global supply chains.

“We are delighted that The Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University will lead this important project, bringing together key stakeholders in the global food system across two of the world’s largest trading markets,” says Professor Elliott, Pro-Vice Chancellor at Queen’s and project co-ordinator.

Professor Yongning Wu, Chief Scientist from the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, co-ordinator of the Chinese efforts in the project, added: “The EU-China-Safe partnership between our two trading regions is of immense importance to help deliver safe and genuine food to all citizens.”

“Working together across China and the EU will enable us to identify where food fraud is happening, address the root causes and thereby enable us to improve food safety standards for all our citizens.”

Reported instances of food fraud are on the increase and occur on a global scale, worth an estimated US$52 billion globally each year. Food fraud is a global issue demanding a global response. The increasingly complex global food supply network increases the risks of serious food borne illness.

“This project will tackle these highly connected issues in a way that will serve to better protect several billion people. There is a pressing need to act internationally in response to emerging threats to food safety and fraud. Working together as a coalition of 33 partners to share knowledge and maximize our technologies will empower the food industry to provide safer, authentic food and will boost consumers’ confidence and ultimately facilitate the expansion of EU-China trade,” adds Professor Elliott.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is the only university in Hong Kong to participate in this significant food safety initiative. PolyU is glad to bring its cutting-edge food safety innovations and technologies to the international arena, by working together with 32 partners in EU and China, two of the world’s largest economies.

Through its pioneering research, its various technology development and collaborative research platforms established, as well as the university’s long-term engagement with the industry, government, research institutes and non-profit-organizations, PolyU will continue to contribute towards the advancement of global food safety in collaboration with stakeholders.

The partnership is made up of 33 partners, including 15 in the EU and 18 in China.

Barcode Technology

Meanwhile a smart universal tool based on a simplified DNA barcoding technique combined with nanotechnology enables food authentication with the naked eye – answering the question “Is the food on the shelf really that what is written on the label?”

Through the journal Angewandte Chemie, Italian scientists have introduced a simplified assay coined NanoTracer. Combining DNA barcoding with nanotechnology, it requires neither expensive tools nor extremely skilled personnel, but just the naked eye to identify a color change.

The DNA barcoding technology identifies an organism by a short unique DNA sequence, the “barcode”. This barcode used for animal species, and therefore for meat products, is the sequence of a gene of mitochodria, which are cell organelles. Its sequence tells the examiner if the product on the shelf contains exactly the species that is declared on the label, not a substituted or a diluted one.

However, DNA barcoding requires elaborate procedures and takes time. Therefore, Pier Paolo Pompa at the Italian Institute of Technology IIT, Genoa, and his colleagues from University of Milano-Bicocca (M. Labra), Italy, have developed a much simpler version of the test, termed NanoTracer, which requires fewer and cheaper reagents, scarce instrumentation, and features a simple color change as its output.

Its main concept is the reduction of the long barcode regions to short subregions, in which the species nevertheless show enough divergence.

Shorter sequences have the advantage that even DNA can be identified that is no longer intact, as it happens in finished foods. The short sequences are then amplified by a polymerase chain reaction process. This step includes the second innovation.

“Our assay includes a universal sequence, which serves to prime the aggregation of (universal) DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles, with consequent red-to-violet color change.” Or, in other words, if the sample DNA sequence matches that of the simplified barcode primers, the respective DNA segment is amplified, and the added nanogold agent aggregates, turning the test solution’s color from red to violet,” says the author.

Using their assay, the scientists tested European perch, which is often substituted by cheaper fish species, and saffron powder, a high-value spice, which is frequently diluted with other herbs.

Both products were distinctly identified with NanoTracer, and the presence of substitutes or cheaper diluents was detected.

As the authors point out, their simplified assay is rapid (it takes less than three hours) and sensitive, uses raw food material, is parallelizable, involves simple low-cost technology and materials, and therefore can be performed in decentralized simple laboratories at low cost.

Source:  foodingredientsfirst.com

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The Final Proof: Update on Acrylamide

June 3rd, 2017
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Acrylamide is a naturally occurring compound that forms in certain foods, including breads, cakes, cookies, potatoes, crackers, cereals and snacks that are baked, fried or toasted. Boiling and steaming foods do not typically form acrylamide.

It was only recently, in 2002, that scientists first discovered the presence of acrylamide in food. Since then, the FDA, Health Canada, and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee have been actively investigating the effects of acrylamide as well as potential measures to reduce it.

Acrylamide is more likely to accumulate when baking, cooking and frying is done for longer periods and/or at higher temperatures. Acrylamide can be formed when amino acids interact with sugars in the presence of heat. Many different kinds of sugars and many different amino acids can interact in this way. However, one particular amino acid, asparagine, has a far greater tendency to interact with sugars and to form acrylamide than other amino acids.

Research indicates that at extremely high doses, such as those in some industrial or manufacturing settings, acrylamide is carcinogenic. However, only traces of naturally occurring acrylamide have been detected in foods such as cookies, crackers and baked and fried foods.

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) is composed of parts of several different U.S. government agencies. In its most recent Report on Carcinogens (2014), the NTP classified acrylamide as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” based on the studies in lab animals. Since acrylamide is known to cause cancer in experimental animals, further research on the effects of exposure to acrylamide is needed before the risks to human health associated with acrylamide exposure from food sources (not industrial) can be fully understood. Work continues in this area, and as the result of new studies become available, agencies including Health Canada will continue to evaluate the level of risk associated with dietary exposure to acrylamide.

In March 2016, the FDA posted a final document with recommendations for consumers and practical strategies to help growers, manufacturers and foodservice operators lower the amount of acrylamide in foods associated with higher levels of the chemical.

“The documentation provides guidance for best practices and does outline a food systems approach in the reduction of acrylamide in potato products and baked goods,” explains Marianne Smith Edge, an industry thought leader and founder of Kentucky-based AgriNutritionEdge. “This documentation sets the stage for the food industry to be proactive in instituting methods throughout their procurement and production processes voluntarily and within their own time frame and budgetary constraints.”

For the past 15 years, acrylamide has been in and out of the news. Acrylamide has made headlines again in 2017. This time for food samples analyzed in the United Kingdom and United States. As <i>Bakers Journal</i> interim editor Brian Hartz mentioned in his May 2017 Editor’s Letter, a survey commissioned by the Changing Markets Foundation analysed 48 types of biscuits for infants and young children in the U.K. The highest levels of acrylamide were found in a sample of Little Dish biscuits for one-year-olds containing a concentration almost five times above the European benchmark and 30 times higher than products with the lowest concentration in the survey.

These March 2017 findings came six months after the U.K. Food Standards Agency (FSA) published its own results showing 29 products exceeding the recommended acrylamide benchmarks including three type of baby food. Also in 2017, a U.S. health watchdog, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), launched legal action against several U.S. biscuit manufacturers and retailers for allegedly failing to warn consumers about the high levels of acrylamide in their products.

The FDA and Health Canada continue to collaborate with the food industry to further pursue reductions efforts for acrylamide in processed foods. The best way to decrease the amount of acrylamide in the diet is to cut back on frying. High-temperature frying causes the greatest acrylamide formation.

To minimize the presence of acrylamide, toast bread, buns and muffins to a light brown colour rather than a dark brown colour and store potatoes outside the refrigerator in a dark, cool place, such as a closet or a pantry. Studies have shown that using different varieties of crops, particularly ones low in asparagine, time of harvesting to reduce sugar formation, proper handling, and changing cooking and storage temperatures can lower levels of acrylamide in food.

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Food Industry Anticipates What the Real Brexit Means as White Paper is Released

February 4th, 2017
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As the government sets out its principal plans for Brexit, the White Paper for leaving Europe has been released and covers areas including trade, migration controls and sovereignty issues. The policy document sets outs Theresa May’s goals for negotiations with the European Union and comes after there was mounting pressure from MPs across the House of Commons for the Prime Minister to go public with detailed plans on exactly how Britain will leave the EU.

The main points of the White Paper include how the UK will withdraw from the Single Market and look for new customs arrangements and a free trade agreement with the EU; there will be a new immigration system to fill skills shortages and allow “genuine” students; a plan with European countries to secure the rights of expats living overseas; Britain will leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice but look to arrange separate resolution mechanisms for issues including trade disputes; the government is planning a “seamless and frictionless border” between Northern Ireland and Ireland’’; the government will give more powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as brought back to the UK.

While Conservatives, with the exception of some Tory rebels, hail the White Paper as a success story, Labour say the document is not detailed and has been produced too late.

As negotiations go forward, the government says it will not necessarily be public about certain details.

Responding to its release, Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said: “There are reasons to be optimistic about trade and retail in a post-Brexit world. It’s encouraging that the Government recognizes that the UK has a role to play as a champion of free and open trade. However, securing a positive new customs arrangement with the EU, which enables mutually beneficial opportunities for trade with the EU and the rest of the world, will be crucial to ensuring British shoppers aren’t hit with the costs of unwanted import tariffs.”

“Making these stated ambitions a reality will require close partnership between the retail industry and UK-EU negotiators. In the short-term, the number one priority needs to be ensuring that Britain’s exit from the EU is orderly, allowing all goods traded between the EU and the UK to be in free circulation.”

Speaking about securing new trade deals with the EU, Food and Drink Federation director general, Ian Wright, has previously said: ““We welcome the fact that the Prime Minister has provided some much needed additional clarity on her Government’s approach to plans for the UK’s EU exit.”

“The food and drink industry is worth £108 billion to the UK economy. Two thirds of food and drink exports go the EU. So we welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to securing the freest and simplest possible trade arrangements with the EU. We are also encouraged that the PM hopes to adopt a phased approach to Brexit which offers businesses time to prepare and plan as opposed to a potentially fatal jump from the cliff edge.”

“In addition to its huge economic contribution the food and drink industry is at the heart of our national security and our national infrastructure. It must be a top priority in any consideration of sectoral deals with the EU.”

Meanwhile, Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming, says that while applauding the ambition to “build a better Britain”, the White Paper does not give enough reassurance that Brexit will not lead to lower standards for consumers, workers and the environment.

Ben Reynolds, deputy chief executive said: “Given the huge importance of the UK farm and food system to our economy and health and wellbeing, we welcome the commitment to design “new, better and more efficient policies for delivering sustainable and productive farming, land management and rural communities.”

 “We hope the detail that follows this statement of intent from the Government backs up this position and that we don’t race towards becoming a bargain bin Britain, with lower quality standards in the food we eat and the farming we support.”

“There must be no weakening of rules on environment, pesticides, animal welfare, workers rights or food safety to both protect public health and ecosystems but also to ensure we are able to continue to sell goods in global markets where such standards are expected. To ensure this we believe it is important to take time to design a new agriculture support system for farmers, which ensures a healthy environment and other public benefits, given the huge impact any policy changes will have on farm viability.”

Earlier this week MPs voted to allow Theresa May to invoke Article 50 in a House of Commons vote passing the European Union Bill by 498 votes to 114.

Formal negotiations can begin once the UK has done this, which the PM promised will be by the end of March.

Source:  foodingredientsfirst.com

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The Role of Acacia Gum in the Food Industry

July 16th, 2016
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Acacia Gum, a natural, multipurpose additive, is meeting consumer’s expectations towards natural and sustainable food products.

Various food crises have influenced public opinion around the world in recent years, and created acute awareness among consumers. Consumers are increasingly attentive to their diet, the quality of food products and the effect of what they eat on their health. Several studies show that consumer fears trigger food trends, like for example the increase in vegetarian diets, the search for naturalness and organic food, or the reject of GMOs and artificial flavorings… The importance of product quality and a healthy diet is reflected in consumer choices.

As consumers become more worried, they are also better informing and expressing themselves today, using the technological tools of our time to send alerts and build alliances. Shoppers take their role very seriously and wish to be heard. Their behaviors are constantly shaping marketing messages, and giant companies in the food industry are following the trends and reformulating their products to meet consumers’ expectations.

Among consumers’ concerns, the additives are often stigmatized, and the term “additives” can arouse fears. The consumption trend is moving toward the desire to minimize products with too many additives, and limit products that are unhealthy if consumed in excess or harmful to the environment.

Yet it is important to distinguish between additives, based on their source and their impact on health. Some additives are completely natural, absolutely safe for the body and eco-friendly. Such is the case for Acacia Gum, a completely safe additive that has many functional properties.

Also known as E414, Acacia gum is a natural exudation extracted after an incision is made in an acacia tree, making its harvest completely natural and sustainable. Acacia Gum has been used by men for millennia, and is today found in small doses in a large number of everyday products, including wines, candies, cosmetics, soft drinks, flavorings. It can be used as a coating agent for confectioneries, an emulsifier and stabilizing agent in drinks, or a fiber in dietetic products. Gum Acacia’s status of dietary fiber means it also has valuable properties, like an excellent digestive tolerance, and scientifically proven prebiotic effects.

A natural, multipurpose additive, Gum Acacia meets consumers’ expectations towards natural and sustainable food products.

Source: Asia Food Journal

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GCC food industry investment surges to $23.7B

August 7th, 2015
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Investment in the GCC food industry surged from $13.6 billion in 2010 to $23.7 billion last year with a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.8 per cent, the Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (Goic) said in its latest food industries directory.

Individual food segments registering strong CAGR increases were animal feeds, 23.5 per cent; dairy products, 23.1 per cent, and soft drinks, mineral water and other bottled water, 22.6 per cent.

Other segments showed the following increases: processing and preservation of meat and fish, 14.7 per cent; cocoa, chocolate and sugar confectionery, 10.5 per cent; vegetable and animal oils and fats, 7 per cent; processing and preservation of fruit and vegetables, 6.2 per cent, and grain mill, bakery and macaroni products, 3.9 per cent.

A segment classified as “other food products NEC”, registered 16.9 per cent.

As regards performance in 2014, soft drinks, mineral waters and other bottled water registered investment of $5.84 billion, 24.6 per cent of the total of 23.7 billion for the year and the largest percentage share.

Other segments that did well were: grain mill, bakery and macaroni products, $4.71 billion (19.8 per cent), dairy products, $4.49 billion (18.9 per cent) and processing and preservation of meat and fish, $2.21 billion (9.3 per cent).

Percentage representations of other products were: prepared animal feeds $1.85 billion (7.8 per cent), cocoa, chocolate and sugar confectionery $1.12 billion (4.7 per cent), processing, preservation of fruit and vegetables, $900 million (3.9 per cent) and vegetable and animal oils and fats $689 million (2.9 per cent).

The ‘other food products NEC’ category amounted to $1.89 billion (8 per cent).

The number of factories advanced from 1,606 to 1,965 during the same period, showing a CAGR of 5.2 per cent.

Factories producing soft drinks, mineral water and other bottled water had the best CAGR growth of 8.3 per cent followed by plants engaged in cocoa, chocolate and sugar confectionery, 8.1 per cent and those engaged in the processing and preservation of fruit and vegetables, 7.5 per cent.

Dairy plants showed a decline of 3.8 per cent. There were 152 such plants in 2010 with the figure declining every year to reach 130 in 2014.

The labour force numbered 159,613 in 2010 against 238,825 in 2014.

Source: albawaba.com

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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

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Doehler Unveils Fresh Ideas for Sweets, Fruit Gums

September 20th, 2014
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DoehlerDoehler has developed a range of natural flavours and colours as well as fruit juice concentrates and tea extracts specifically for the confectionery industry.

Trends from the beverage industry are increasingly spilling over into other segments of the food industry, creating refreshing inspiration for innovation in the confectionery industry. To meet this trend, Doehler has developed a range of natural flavours and colours as well as fruit juice concentrates and tea extracts specifically for the confectionery industry. “Clear lemonade”, “chai-orange”, “ginger ale-chilli” or even “Hugo” could soon be providing refreshment in the confectionery aisle.

The topic of “naturalness” is becoming more and more important in all segments of the food market – and this also applies to confectionery.

“As a manufacturer of natural ingredients for food and beverages, Doehler puts naturalness at the heart of everything it does,” said Ingo Schlüter, Head of Sales Region Europe at Doehler. “Thanks to the company’s own fruit processing facilities, it is able to produce a very extensive portfolio of different natural ingredients such as fruit juice concentrates, fruit preparations, natural flavours and colours and much more. This allows Doehler to offer the confectionery industry not only high quality, natural building blocks but also a product experience that stimulates all these senses equally.”

Source: Asia Food Journal

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Elliott Report a Significant Step Forward in Safeguarding Food Supply

September 13th, 2014
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haccp_logoThe final report of the Elliott Review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks was published September 4, 2014. Food fraud is the deliberate substitution, addition, tampering or misrepresentation of food, ingredients or packaging and is considered by food safety experts at global public health organization NSF International to be a global issue that cannot be dealt with solely inside national borders. Effective implementation of the report’s recommendations will require industry and government coordination as well as expert support to protect consumers.

“As the Elliott report makes clear, criminal food fraud is a very serious problem in the international food supply chain, the total scale of which is unknown, but ranging from relatively minor ‘casual dishonesty’ to organized crime encouraged by huge financial rewards. Limited intelligence means that we simply do not know the exact extent of fraud. What we do know is that it can be a cause of major food safety risks which severely undermines consumer trust in the food industry,” said David Richardson, EMEA Food Division Vice President at NSF International, a global public health organization and leading food safety service provider operating in more than 155 countries.

Professor Chris Elliott of Queen’s University in Belfast was commissioned by the UK government to conduct the review in the wake of a major food fraud crisis in 2013 involving horsemeat found in beef products. In the report, Professor Elliott discusses issues impacting consumer confidence in the authenticity of food products, including any systemic failures with implications for food safety and public health, as well as makes recommendations for addressing such failures. His recommendations are based around eight key pillars:

  1. Consumers first – Industry, government and enforcement agencies should always put the needs of consumers above all other considerations. This means giving food safety and food crime absolute priority over other objectives.
  2. Zero tolerance – In sectors where margins are tight and the potential for fraud is high, even minor dishonesties must be discouraged and the response to major dishonesties deliberately punitive.
  3. Intelligence gathering – There needs to be shared investment between government and industry in intelligence gathering and sharing, although to ensure its effectiveness, all organizations must have regard to the sensitivities of the market.
  4. Laboratory services – Those involved with audit, inspection and enforcement must have access to resilient, sustainable laboratory services that use standardized, tested approaches.
  5. Audit – Industry and regulators must give weight to audit and assurance regimes, but also work to minimise duplication where possible. Industry should move to a modular form of auditing.
  6. Government support – Government support for the integrity and assurance of food supply networks must be kept specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART).
  7. Leadership – Clear leadership and co-ordination of investigations and prosecutions is required and the public interest must be recognised in active enforcement and meaningful penalties for significant food crimes. A new Food Crime Unit, based on the Dutch model, should be created within the FSA and become the lead agency for food crime.
  8. Crisis management – When a serious incident occurs the necessary mechanisms are in place so that regulators and industry can deal with it effectively.

NSF International’s Opinion 

Richardson commented, “NSF International is supportive of all measures to improve food safety and levels of trust between consumers and the food industry. The Elliott report makes many sound recommendations, which if implemented effectively will provide a vastly superior coordinated approach between government and industry to tackling food fraud. The industry now needs expert support to translate these recommendations into practical strategies and systems to protect consumers as well as their own brands. NSF International has in place a comprehensive service package of consulting, training, audit and testing services to help companies globally tackle the risk of fraud effectively.”

NSF International was recently commissioned by the FSA to develop a risk assessment framework, which is discussed in NSF’s white paper “The ‘new’ phenomenon of criminal fraud in the food supply chain.” This framework works as an evidence- and risk-based diagnostic tool that helps to identify risk of fraud in the global food supply chain across different product categories.

Professor Elliott has drawn attention to a major problem that not only affects the UK but the entire global supply chain. “Food fraud does not respect national boundaries and that is a major reason why it is so difficult to track. Transparency, traceability and data sharing among government, industry and third-party organizations worldwide will become major themes in addressing global food fraud threats,” said David Edwards, NSF International food safety consultant and former director of NSF International’s Global Food Safety Division. “Organizations such as NSF International with global resources, technical expertise and cooperative relationships with both industry and government can play a crucial role in facilitating intelligence sharing and developing solutions.”

NSF International has thousands of inspectors and other technical resources on the ground as well as global laboratories and testing capabilities. By working with many international businesses and government agencies, NSF is ideally placed to collect and analyse data and provide advice that can help stamp out international fraud.

Source: Asia food Journal

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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

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Exemplary food safety practices can drive sales

March 29th, 2013
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A new study from TÜV SÜD suggests product safety, not brand, is the key determinant for consumer purchase.

FoodSafetydrivessales

TÜV SÜD’s Safety Gauge investigated product safety practices and consumer attitudes and experiences across consumer goods, electronics and food sectors in five markets. It found overwhelming consumer willingness to pay premiums for products meeting the strictest safety standards, as well as evidence that safety certifications influence purchasing decisions.

Manufacturers may be in a unique position of being able to leverage consumer concern over product safety to drive commercial success through a systematic approach to product safety. President and CEO of TÜV SÜD North America Ian Nichol says, “Contrary to popular belief, significant safety improvements can be made with limited resources, by working together with suppliers for instance, and standardizing safety requirements throughout the supply chain.”

According to the report, 85 percent of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay a premium of 15 percent over standard prices for products achieving exemplary safety standards. Eight of 10 respondents said safety certifications influence preference for a familiar brand while 60 percent look for safety certification information on labels of unfamiliar products.

The food industry is widely considered the safest of all industries surveyed, but even so, almost all consumers expect further efforts to expand traceability and transparency. Of the industries surveyed in Safety Gauge, food company management ranked highest on product safety practice awareness.

Consumers ranked the food industry as safest among those surveyed, and stated hygiene is a more important criterion than brand or product origin when purchasing a food product. Price and freshness ranked number one and two, respectively, as the biggest purchasing influencers. Respondents expressed the most concern over raw meat and fish products, dairy products including milk and eggs, fruit and vegetables.

Click here to view the entire report.

Source: Food Engineering

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