Archive | Food Hygiene

SORTEX® PolarVision™ – New Foreign Material Detection System Redresses Safety Concerns

downloadThe Bühler Group has announced two significant industry innovations to help frozen fruit and vegetable processors achieve the highest standards yet in food safety and hygiene. SORTEX PolarVision™, the new advanced FM detection technology, will make it easier for processors to meet the most stringent safety specifications demanded of them, and Bühler’s SORTEX F optical sorter, featuring multiple developments for hygienic processing.

SORTEX PolarVision™ technology – actively targets difficult-to-detect FM

The SORTEX PolarVision™ technology platform is a sophisticated FM detection system delivering outstanding results, in a wide array of frozen produce. From single products, such as peas or raspberries, to more complex vegetable mixes that may contain seafood and spices, it operates from one simple set-up, with a substantial sorting improvement on the difficult-to-detect defects.

It works by combining two dedicated FM detection technologies – the SORTEX PolarCam™ and high definition InGaAsHD™, both developed in response to industry demand for cutting-edge technology to tackle difficult-to-detect, defects,  including snails, dark and light plastics, wood, cardboard, cigarette ends, glass and stones.

SORTEX PolarCam™ is an advanced FM camera that has been designed to see the difference between vegetable and non-vegetable matter, regardless of its colour. It is therefore possible to process different products or mixes, with little or no change to settings and still detect non-vegetable material such as dark FM,  black plastic, stones, snails and insects.

High definition InGaAsHD™ technology has double the resolution of standard InGaAs and can recognise smaller pieces of hazardous material, half the size previously detectable.

These combined technologies offer a complete FM solution that reduces the need for adjustment between products as visible cameras are not required.  Dedicated FM controls improve the usability of the system, making life easier for the operator.

The launch comes at a key time when safety is high on the industry agenda. Processors face a constant challenge to detect and remove FM and keep pace with a food industry that is continuously innovating to create often complex, value-added products that must adhere to rigorous safety standards.

Bühler’s existing technologies already offer leading-edge solutions within the processing industry, such as its unrivalled PROfile shape system for the removal of extraneous vegetable matter (EVM) and its in-house, custom built, visible cameras for detecting gross and subtle colour defects, to enhance product quality and uniformity. SORTEX PolarVision™ now takes optical sorting to the next level.

All-New SORTEX F –  dedicated optical sorter based on hygienic design principles

To maximise the full potential of the SORTEX PolarVision™, Bühler has developed a dedicated sorting platform – the SORTEX F optical sorter.

Developed by in-house specialists, using current best practice and hygienic product design guidelines, it features a stainless steel frame, sloped surfaces, hygienic conduits, stainless steel air set and hygienic grade fixings, to deliver an unrivalled solution with no tolerance for product build-up, thereby lowering the risk of contamination.

The machine also sets a new standard in ejection technology, with its EJECTOR+ feature, which uses 25% more force to eliminate denser contaminants. Together with SmartEject™ technology, the technology removes unwanted and hazardous materials, from fine wood shavings to heavier pieces of glass and stones.

SORTEX PolarVision™ is available on the SORTEX F and as an upgrade option for processors, currently operating Bühler’s SORTEX E1D Optical Sorter.

Bühler R&D specialist Ben Deefholts explains how the leading-edge technology was developed: “Based on our understanding of the issues processors were facing with existing technologies, in detecting a cross-section of FM, we put together an in-house research project to analyse spectral data from a wide range of vegetable material, typical FM and samples of other FM that customers were finding difficult to detect using existing technology. We used the results of the research to create a combination of cameras and optics, including a revised InGaAs™ HD technology and a new IR camera with active background.

“F&V processors often run many different products down a packing line in one day, so they need to be able to switch easily between them. This means they normally need generic FM removal, with additional specific programmes for colour defects or EVM based on shape. The SORTEX E and SORTEX F with PolarVision makes adjustment of the sorter much more intuitive and will better suit the busy life of the packing line.”

Stephen Jacobs, Global Product Manager at Bühler, added: “We are very excited by the development of this new technology. We believe SORTEX PolarVision™ is the first – and only – system on the market which can deliver such superior FM detection, across multiple products, with complete ease. Combine this with the SORTEX F platform, and you have a revolutionary solution which addresses two of the biggest issues in the food industry today – safety and hygiene.”

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Food Hygiene is Number One Priority For Consumers When Eating Out

UK consumers are united in not tolerating poor food hygiene ratings and simply will not visit businesses that have had food safety issues. Three quarters (75%) said they wouldn’t risk dining at an establishment that had been implicated in a food hygiene incident, even if recommended by someone that they trust, whilst 61% would not eat at a restaurant, takeaway, coffee shop or pub that has a low Food Standards Agency (FSA) Food Hygiene Rating.

These are the headline findings of UK consumer research carried out by Checkit.net, which also found that diners would rather put up with poor service from rude and unhelpful staff than eat at dirty restaurants. 66% of respondents rated unclean or dirty premises as the first or second reason for not returning to an eatery. Just 16% cited slow or poor service and 32% said rude or unhelpful staff would stop them coming back.

The impact of being implicated in a food hygiene incident can be catastrophic for any food service business. Of the 75% of consumers that wouldn’t risk a visit, 43% said they’d never dine there, no matter what, while 32% would only return if it had closed down and reopened under new ownership. A further 22% said they’d only return if the food hygiene rating improved dramatically – illustrating how difficult it is to rebuild consumer confidence and attract diners back, once trust is lost.

“It doesn’t matter if you are a Michelin starred restaurant or a local takeaway – consumers will not tolerate poor food hygiene and will vote with their feet if you’ve been implicated in a food hygiene incident,” says Dee Roche, Marketing Director of Checkit.net. “This demonstrates the enormous impact that poor food safety has on a business’ survival – how would you cope with 61% of your customers boycotting your premises? These findings are a wake-up call to any operator that thinks that food safety is not a customer priority – diners rate hygiene as the number one reason, above service or rude staff when it comes to choosing whether to return for subsequent visits.”

The research found that consumers had the highest expectations of fine dining restaurants, with 69% saying they would not visit any that had a low food hygiene rating. This was followed by takeaways (including Chinese, Indian or kebab sellers), with 64% of people avoiding any with low food hygiene ratings. In contrast, they were slightly better disposed to cafés and coffee shops (55%).

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland helps consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving them information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, takeaways and food shops. The scale runs from 0 (urgent improvement necessary) through 1 (major improvement necessary) to 2 (improvement necessary) up to 5 (very good). Ratings are available from the Food Standards Agency’s websites and are normally displayed within the premises as well.

Checkit is a leading provider of next generation, cloud-based automated monitoring and digital work management solutions across the food, hygiene, healthcare and facilities management sectors.

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Packo Pumps rewrites the standard for product pumps together with the industry

The vegetable and potato processing industry has changed profoundly. By strain refinement the potatoes that have to be pumped became much larger. The free passage in the product pumps has to follow this trend. Also the volumes that have to be pumped increased enormously and loss by damage is yet barely tolerated. The pumps that are used in this market segment up till now score, widely considered, inadequately in that area and the demand for better performing pumps resounds more emphatically through recent years. That was also the reason for Packo Pumps to begin the re-design from zero. The result is the VPCP pump that rewrites the prevailing norm. The VPCP pump has been developed in collaboration with the industry. It has been tested extensively and proven radically incomparable. Packo Pumps challenges you.
Larger stainless steel pump casing
First the needs and trends of the industry were identified and converted into design requirements. The full geometry of both the impeller and the pump casing was studied via CFD and redesigned with a view to the largest possible free passage and minimal product damage in the widest possible working area. The result of months of CFD study and several practice tests is a range of four pump types with a significantly larger pump casing but with the same mounting dimensions as the VDKM pumps (except for type 150-400).
The principle remains a complete stainless steel pump, like the Packo standard dictates. Cleanability, corrosion resistance and more strict hygiene requirements, after all, are gaining importance.

Vane replaces impellers
A second intervention replaces the traditional channel impeller with an impeller with a single vane, which was specially developed by Packo for this pump series. The design of the vane plays a key role in the performances of the new VPCP pump. It also leaves a large free passage and is designed to keep product damaging minimal. Research showed that by omitting the channel geometry the product damage is minimal over a much wider area (flow and speed). A typical single channel impeller only shows a low product damage in a small zone around the BEP (Best Efficiency Point).

Test results prove 250% less product damage
In order to evaluate and compare the product damage objectively Packo Pumps developed a test method that produces a dimensionless damage figure. The damage figures are both a quantitative (% of products being damaged by the pump) as qualitative (how serious is the damage?) weighing of the damage. The new VPCP pump scores a damage figure of 9.5. In comparison, the known VDKM pump registered a damage figure of 25.5. We can therefore state that the product damage in the new generation VPCP pumps is 2.5 times smaller than in the VDKM pumps. Also pumps with conventional 1-channel impellers were subjected to the same test. No single pump scored a damage figure below 14. We can therefore confidently say that the VPCP pump series sets a new benchmark in terms of product damage.

Sustainable construction
In addition to the pump hydraulics, also the structure of the pump itself was taken in hand. The versions with larger motor capacities were shortened 75mm, which makes the pump not only more compact, but also makes the shaft much stiffer and eventually benefits the life time of the mechanical seal. Because field tests confirmed the durability of a single seal, the new generation of pumps will not be equipped with an oil bath around the shaft seal anymore.

Target market of the VPCP pump series
The Packo VPCP pump range is designed for pumping potatoes, vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, etc. The VPCP pump can e.g. be used in Belgian fries process lines and for the transport of vegetables to the blanching lines.
Because the pump has the same dimensions as the known VDKM pump
series it is easily interchangeable.

Overall, the VPCP pump is characterized by:
New benchmark in minimal product damage in a wide area (flow and speed),
One of the largest free passages in product pumps on the market,
4 types: 125-315, 150-400, 200-500 and 250-630,
Steeper pump curve: easier to adjust and less risk of clogging the system.
Pump completely in electropolished stainless steel,
Compact monobloc construction, dimensionally shorter than the VDKM pump series,
Duplex stub shaft allows a quick and easy disassembly of the vane,
Standard IEC normalized motor,
Only two standardized (EN 12756) mechanical seal diameters (3 to 45kW and from 5 to 10 inch pump),
Sledge construction by which the pump can be easily slid backwards while the pump casing remains in the piping system,
Available with vertical or horizontal outlet,
In accordance with European food contact regulation EC 1935/2004,
Pump is equipped with large manhole cover and drain,
Same dimensions as the known VDKM pump, which make them easily interchangeable.

Packo Pumps, the specialist in stainless steel centrifugal pumps!

Packo Pumps is originally researcher, designer and manufacturer of sustainable and innovative industrial pumps. Our pumps rank among the best of the world when it comes to hygiene and cleanability.
Packo pumps are also an important link in the reliability and the improvement of the energy efficiency of our customers. To this end, we develop and constantly improve more pumps tailored to our clients, for the most diverse applications.
Our slogan “We Optimize Your Flow” reflects our ambition to be a valued partner in the optimization of your business processes.
Need more information? Contact bart.vanbastelaere@packo.com or visit our new website www.packopumps.com.

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Global investors urge food firms to address rising water risks

Investors managing more than $2.6trn in assets have sent joint letters to 15 international food and drink companies amid growing concerns over water security and pollution.

The letters, which were sent out to the likes of Kraft Heinz Co., Monster Beverage and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, were coordinated by sustainability organisation Ceres, which identified the 15 recipient companies as “poor performers” on water management issues.

“Many food sector executives are holding onto a mistaken view that water will forever be cheap and limitless,” said Ceres senior water programme director Brooke Barton. “But the era of cheap, plentiful water is coming to an end, and, more than ever, food companies need to address it.”

Oversight
In a recent Ceres report which evaluated 31 publicly traded US companies, 90% cited water scarcity and treatment as a risk, yet only 30% mentioned that water risks were part of major business investment and incentives.

A sample letter sent out by Ceres states: “We…believe that global water risk management is a critical aspect of financial risk oversight in the food and beverage sector…these threats can, and already are having profound near-term business impacts on food and beverage companies that are disrupting operations and supply chains, increasing capital expenditures and operating costs, and constraining revenue growth.

“As concerned shareholders with long-term investment strategies, we…seek increased transparency and disclosure about your exposure to water risk, as well as the plans, strategies and progress you are making in mitigating the company’s exposure to these issues.”

The food sector, which uses 70% of the world’s freshwater supplies, is especially at risk of water scarcity due to its use of water as both a direct ingredient and as an input to agricultural production. Factors including growing competition for water, weak regulations, aging water infrastructure, water pollution and climate change are having increasingly adverse effects on the food industry creating a need for better water management.

California drought
The letters were sent at a time where areas such as California are experiencing its worst recorded drought in history. In light of this, the World Bank expects water scarcity to affect 2.8 billion people directly by 2025.California Mayor Eric Garcetti last week issued the use of 96 million shade balls to prevent the loss of more than 300 million gallons of water each year and save the area around $250m.

Archer Daniels Midland – headquartered in California – is one of the companies to have received a letter.

2015 Investor Letter

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New Managing Director at Hydrosol

Ahrensburg, August 2015On 1 July Dr. Matthias Moser took up his duties as the new Managing Director of Hydrosol, the international stabiliser and emulsifier system specialist. Dr. Moser, who holds a PhD in natural science, is also Managing Director of sister company OlbrichtArom. Both companies are part of the independent owner-operated Stern-Wywiol Gruppe, which maintains offices and production facilities in the world’s key markets.

“Dr. Matthias Moser has a thorough knowledge of the ingredients industry, and we’re glad to have him on board,” says Torsten Wywiol, CEO of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe. “With his more than 15 years of experience in the international food industry and a passion for food ingredients, he will drive the strategic development of Hydrosol at the international level.” The new Hydrosol Managing Director has already demonstrated his abilities in multiple leadership positions, most recently as CEO of the Beneo Group. “In my career thus far I have gained deep insights into the international food markets and the needs of customers. So I’m delighted to accept the challenge of convincing our worldwide customers of the added value provided by Hydrosol stabilising and texturising systems, and at the same time presenting new product and marketing ideas to manufacturers,” says Dr. Matthias Moser.
About Hydrosol:

Hydrosol GmbH & Co. KG headquartered in Ahrensburg near Hamburg, Germany, is a fast-growing supplier of food stabilising systems, with subsidiaries around the world. Its specialists develop and produce tailor-made stabilising systems for dairy products, ice cream and desserts, delicatessen and ready meals, as well as meat, sausage and fish products. With its international network of 16 subsidiaries and numerous qualified foreign representatives, the company is represented in the world’s key markets. As a member of the independent, owner-operated Stern-Wywiol Gruppe with a total of eleven sister companies, Hydrosol can make use of many synergies. The company has access to the knowledge of some 70 R&D specialists and to the extensive applications technology of the Group’s large Technology Centre in Ahrensburg, Germany. It also benefits from shared production facilities and the Group’s own logistics resources, so it can offer customers a high degree of flexibility and innovation capabilities. The Stern-Wywiol Gruppe is one of the world’s most successful international suppliers of food & feed ingredients.

For more information:
Anne Bünting
Marketing Hydrosol
Tel.: +49 (0)40 / 284 039-190
E-mail: abuenting@hydrosol.de

Press contacts:
teamhansen / Manfred Hansen
Bismarckstr. 54 / D-20259 Hamburg
Tel.: +49 (0)40 / 23 51 77-51
E-mail: manfred.hansen@teamhansen.de

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The Ultimate in Belting Hygiene

EneJuly2015When considering food safety in terms of production, the critical component of any conveyor is the belt. The prime challenge is to use a conveying medium that takes hygiene to its practical limit. ENE Ltd, Ireland’s leading food conveyor manufacturer, is familiar with the challenge and has discovered a belting solution that leaps over the heads of all other belt solutions.

ENE Ltd is the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for the Mafdel range of hygienic PositiveBelt and Deldrive belts. It is no accident that ENE Ltd frequently fits these cutting edge belts to many of its own products. Mafdel solid belts do not have the plies, threads, joins, or cracks that harbour dangerous bacteria or contaminants. The Deldrive and Positivebelts are constructed of solid Polyurethane or Polyester which is durable and easy to maintain. All Mafdel products come with complete EU certification for both material and product.

A significant feature is that the Deldrive product will retrofit most existing modular conveyors with only a change of sprockets required. For further information contact ENE Ltd on 02840 622215, email sales@eneconveyors.com  or visit www.eneconveyors.com.

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Add a ‘Touch’ of Smart Technology to Improve Food Safety

ComarkJune2015Potential danger is hiding as food makes the journey to your customer. Introducing a touch of temperature-monitoring technology at critical junctures, however, can improve food quality – and help independently owned establishments be compliant with the latest food safety regulations.

UK-based Comark Instruments recently introduced the new HACCP Touch, an easy and cost-effective system for caterers, hoteliers and restaurateurs to collect, record and store daily temperatures of critical items as they are received, stored, prepped, cooked and held – or at any other point along the way.

The tamper-proof HACCP Touch even captures corrective actions that are taken when food temperatures are found to be outside of approved safe zones. Reports are available from an accompanying software solution that is both user-friendly and customisable.

ComarkLogoJune2015Users interface with the device through an easy-to-navigate touch screen. It measures temperatures that range as low as -73°C and up to 437°C with an accuracy of 0.5°C. It is also water resistant and highly durable to withstand commercial-grade environments.

Interested in adding a touch of smart technology to your operations? Visit www.comarkinstruments.com, or call +44 (0)844 815 6599 to heat up your temperature-monitoring intelligence.

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Irish food-tech company raises €900,000 investment

An Irish food diagnostics company AltraTech has raised €900,000 in investment through the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund, as well as Enterprise Ireland and company founders.

AltraTech is developing a single-use portable semiconductor test kit for use in the food and agri sector, for high sensitivity species-specific identification of food content and contaminants.

Founded in 2013 in the aftermath of the horse meat scandal, AltraTech aims to be first to market with an on-site, inline disposable DNA diagnostics kit to reduce the wait time for DNA testing to 30 minutes from today’s two to five days.

Variants of the technology will be applied in environmental, industrial, and retail settings to screen hundreds of samples daily.

AltraTech will use this round of funding to develop and trial its BeadCAP food-DNA test technology and plans to hire staff over the next 12 months to support these plans.

Food for thought

The company participated in Kernel Capital’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence programme and is targeting an agri-food sector in Europe estimated to be worth more than €750bn annually.

The agri-food sector in Ireland employs 150,000 people and is worth €24bn a year in exports.

“Food testing is a US$3bn market today, dominated by older protein-based assays which typically take three to five days in a central lab,” said Tim Cummins, CEO, AltraTech Limited.

“Newer emerging DNA tests are more accurate and specific, but still take two or three days in a central lab. Our BeadCAP technology directly addresses problems, such as the recent ‘horse-burger’ and pig animal protein food adulteration crises, which saw food producers and retailers being faced with quarantine or recall decisions, risk of reputational damage and loss of sales.

“It will enable food producers to do real-time testing and make instant production and dispositioning decisions. We are delighted with this funding, which will enable us to add up to seven new employees over the next year to begin field trials of the technology,” Cummins added.

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Technology So Advanced You Don’t See It…

AYR, Scotland, April 9, 2014 – Neogen has introduced an advanced ATP hygiene monitoring system that uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to make testing in a facility much easier, and an updated software program to simplify data creation and interpretation.

Neogen’s AccuPoint® 2 Hygiene Monitoring System features the newest advancement in ATP monitoring, RFID technology. The technology involves two components: an antenna and RFID tags. The tags are passive, which means they give off no signal on their own. They simply reflect the RFID signal back to the instrument with their specific code, which is linked to the appropriate test site grouping. To keep from being a potential point of contamination, the RFID tags, which are about the size of a euro/pound coin, have been inserted into a 15 cm x 15 cm, brightly coloured sign.

 

“The RFID technology is the ‘wow’ factor of the newest ATP systems. We’ve tried to move the design of the day’s test plan from the manager’s computer to the instrument,” said Steve Chambers, Neogen Europe Ltd.’s Sales & Marketing Director. “In the past, you would have

to create a daily test plan on a computer and upload it to the instrument, then toggle and scroll, and toggle and scroll some more to get to the appropriate test site before you could test the site — for every site you tested. We’ve eliminated all that. With just one swipe the instrument can be ready to test.”

 

The user simply swipes the instrument near the tag and the site group is read automatically. From there, the instrument picks test sites within the site group automatically at random.  If the facility has chosen to designate some test sites as mandatory, meaning they are “hot spots” or sites that need to be tested each time, those are presented first and appear in red on the instrument’s display.

 

“We’ve simply adapted the latest RFID technology that’s being used in everything from inventory tracking to cattle identification to keyless applications access and figured out a way to automate some of the things that our customers were telling us take up too much of their time” said Neogen’s Steve Chambers.

A daily test plan can be developed to monitor the effectiveness of the facility’s cleaning program by testing any or all of the points. Because most facilities have more critical control points than can be realistically tested on a daily basis, in the past supervisors had no other choice but to take the time to attempt to tailor daily test plans to best ensure the overall cleanliness of the facility.

With today’s ATP monitoring systems, all a supervisor has to do is identify test sites just once as either being mandatory, meaning they are tested every day, or as being of lower risk, which means the sites

are among those that are tested on a random basis. With this information, a test plan can be automatically created on a daily basis — completely eliminating the supervisor’s once daily responsibility.

Not only have the latest ATP monitoring systems greatly improved upon the creation of test plans and the actual testing, but the analyzing of the collected data has seen numerous advancements since ATP technology was first used.

“We are in the information age and it’s really about how or what we do with the information that is important. Whether that information is used to comply with the seemingly endless global food safety regulatory initiatives, or simply finding a way to better produce your products,” said Chambers. “The goal is to make sense of the data that is collected. Data collected through an ATP program is meaningless unless it can be interpreted, and used to help modify cleaning programs to produce unerringly effective results — the ultimate goal of hygiene efforts.”

Neogen’s newest ATP monitoring systems can easily produce results that display:
• Results by test sites

• Results by test site groups

• Results ranked by highest percentage of fails

• Results by date ranges

• Trends by monthly averages

AccuPoint 2 with RFID technology will revolutionise your hygiene monitoring process by removing paperwork both on the factory floor and in report building. It will reduce staff training and improve your process by prioritising areas that are deemed mandatory for testing. It will also highlight to your customers or prospective partners that you are serious about your hygiene monitoring.

Neogen Europe Ltd., the European subsidiary of Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG), is a high technology business dedicated to the development and marketing of novel diagnostic kits. These kits focus on topical concerns about the quality and safety of food and agricultural products, from the quality of seed that goes into the ground, right through the chain to the safety of fully processed food products. Neogen Europe has been awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise for international trade and development, one of the highest awards bestowed on a UK company.

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