Archive | Health & Safety

New Warehouse Offers Maximum Product Safety For Taiyo

Taiyo, a pioneer in the research and manufacture of functional ingredients for the food, beverage, medical food and pharmaceutical industries, has relocated its storage facility in Germany. The logistics company In Time, specialist in the import, storage and transport of food and food ingredients, provided the new warehouse near Hamburg. Taiyo’s customers will now benefit from a smoother supply process and faster, more flexible delivery to the EMEA region.

The new storage facility guarantees safe import and transport, proper storage and compliance with GMP regulations and HACCP standards. With fully air-conditioned halls that are subject to constant air quality tests, all year round, storage temperatures can be adjusted from 5–24 °C to accommodate specific ingredients and foodstuffs. Taiyo now benefits from a variety of storage rooms for both odorless and pungent products, thus ensuring maximum product purity.

Computer-assisted, real-time tracking of products during storage and transport makes it possible to query the stock and consignments at any time online, offering logistical advantages that meet individual customer requirements.

“The need for new storage facilities was driven primarily by our growing portfolio of organic raw materials. With In Time, we have found the ideal logistics partner for our product portfolio. This food-specific and organic-certified storage solution makes it possible to further improve our already high quality standards. With the online warehouse management system, we are able to view and manage our stock of ingredients and individual consignments at our company headquarters at any time,” says Dr Stefan Siebrecht, Managing Director of Taiyo.

Taiyo focuses on the development of innovative ingredients derived from natu­ral sources to support health. Since its foundation in 1946, Taiyo has established itself as a leader in the development and production of emulsi­fiers, stabilizers, egg and tea-based ingredients, and highly functional ingredients for the food and pharmaceutical industries. Today, Taiyo manufactures more than 2,000 food formulations, processed eggs, fruit preparations, fla­vorings, emulsifiers, stabilizers and functional ingredients at various manufacturing facilities around the world.

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Fast, Flexible, Accurate – Ishida’s ‘Hungry Monster’

The success of the preferred supplier partnership between Ishida Europe and Tulip, one of the UK’s leading food processing companies, is ideally demonstrated by the latest installation of Ishida equipment at Tulip’s factory in Ruskington, Lincolnshire, where a bespoke line is handling 2.7 tonnes of frozen cocktail sausages every hour. With each cocktail sausage weighing approximately 10g, this equates to an impressive 270,000 sausages per hour.

The Ishida solution comprises both a 24 head and a 14 head multihead weigher from the company’s top-of-the-range RV series, the 24 head feeding a thermoformer while the 14 head is operating in conjunction with a vertical bagmaker.  Ishida also supplied the elaborate feed system, the gantry for the weighers and a bespoke tray filling system, together with a DACS-W-012 checkweigher for final weight control.

Key to the success of the new line is its ability to manage the high volume throughput with minimal product giveaway, and also its flexibility in coping with a variety of packing and production requirements.   The line has been designed to feed the sausages either to the 24 head weigher, which packs them into thermoformed trays for many of the UK’s leading retailers, or to the 14 head model which packs them into bags, mainly for the foodservice sector.

After manufacture and frying, the sausages enter a spiral freezer where they emerge at the top and are fed into the packing operation. It is particularly vital to ensure that production continues uninterrupted, and the system therefore has the ability to divert product for temporary storage – WIP (Work In Progress) as it is termed – while work is carried out on the line, for example a changeover of pack formats.

Product is then fed back to the weighing and packing system to return the packing operation to full speed.

In addition, the line is linked to another processing and packing line in the factory so that product on this line can be easily switched over to cope with high demand – for example, sales of certain products can increase by anything up to 20% when a sunny weekend has been forecast.

Centralised control of the line ensures these changes can be carried out quickly and efficiently.

The 24 head weigher is split into 4 sections with six weigh heads dedicated to each quarter of the weigher, in order to handle the sausages as efficiently as possible and maximise throughput.  The weighed cocktail sausages then pass through a 4×4 configuration filling system above the thermoformer that fills 16 trays at a time at 12 cycles per minute.

Typical speeds are 192 packs per minute for a 220g tray, 180 for a 345g tray and 150 for the 480g size.  The 14 head weigher is operating at around 50 bags per minute for 4kg packs.

With each sausage weighing approximately 10g, pinpoint accuracy is vital and this is an area where the Ishida weighers perform consistently well, according to Tulip’s Project Engineering Manager Rob Hunt, who was responsible for the entire installation.

“We needed a solution that combined accuracy and speed and the Ishida weighers are consistently delivering minimal giveaway at an impressive consistency,” he comments.  “They are also very reliable, easy to use and our operators love them. We refer to this line as the ‘hungry monster’ as it is able to handle nearly anything we throw at it in terms of production throughput.”

The factory operates two eight-hour shifts, five days a week, with a comprehensive clean of the line every night in accordance with Tulip’s stringent hygiene standards.

The hygienic waterproof design of the Ishida RV weighers is certified to IP-69K specification. Features include upgraded seals and gaskets, angled surfaces for rapid wash down and water run off (ensuring faster drying times) and reduced crevices in bushings and hoppers, which help to eliminate bacteria traps.  As a result, the RV weighers installed at Tulip offer maximum hygiene while minimising downtime for cleaning.

The new line was part of a major investment project co-ordinated by Rob Hunt. This involved an extension to the existing building, which was built, fitted out and the line installed as a self-contained unit before the internal wall (which had been the original exterior wall) was removed to join up the new area with the rest of the factory.

“Our close working relationship with Ishida and our other suppliers was crucial to the success of the project,” Rob continues.  “We were very clear about what was required and we worked as a team to ensure this could be achieved.  In this way, any potential issues or problems could be identified, dealt with and solved early in the process so that they did not slow down or affect the progress of the job.”

The result was a project that was delivered on time and on budget.

The new line at the Ruskington site joins a variety of Ishida equipment which has been installed there over the years including five multihead weighers, three QX-1100 tray sealers and nine DACS-W checkweighers.

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Oakland International Web Relaunch Champions Transformative Change

County Meath business, Oakland International, a sustainable family business held in high regard within the multi temperature supply chain arena, has relaunched their website and new corporate brand  championing their view of sustainable growth and transformative change.

Oakland International co-founder, Dean Attwell (pictured), comments: “Relaunching the website is the culmination of many months of planning, strategy review, and development, with the evolution of the brand and website reflecting our stance on environmental and organic change. Serving as a vehicle to increase awareness of our unique and innovation-driven identity, value offerings and corporate social commitment, Oakland has maintained growth, supported and invested in sustainable initiatives which in turn benefit customers and our network partners.”

Recognised in 2016 as a Top 100 Local Employer and ranked in the London Stock Exchange report as being in the Top 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain, Oakland International offers an expanding range of support services including tempering, co-packing, multi-temperature distribution, distress load management and brand development support from their UK and Ireland based facilities.

The new website offers enhanced functionality and additional features, information and content covering articles and industry information as well as details of Oakland’s value added UK and Ireland partner services, links to Oakland’s careers website and their registered children’s charity the Oakland Foundation to give visitors an overview of their community work with children within Redditch and Bromsgrove and the surrounding areas.

Dean adds: “Our new branding reflects our core values and key focus of adding value wherever possible for customers, our network partners and our community.”

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Blakeman’s Upgrades Processing Line With Fourth Spiral Freezer

One of the UK’s leading manufacturers of sausage and meat products, James T Blakeman & Co is investing in a freezing equipment upgrade with its fourth Helix spiral system from IQF equipment specialist Starfrost. James T Blakeman & Co is a family run business that supplies sausage and meat products to the catering and ready meal industry; manufacturing 21000 tonnes of production per year.

The company has a continuous commitment to growth and improvement within the business and recently built a 40,000 sq ft state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at its site at Staffordshire in the UK. Blakeman’s latest development was to increase capacity and efficiency of its existing aging system. The firm also wanted to optimise hygiene procedures and increase flexibility of its processing line to provide opportunities for long-term business planning.

British manufacturer Starfrost has worked closely with James T Blakeman & Co for a number of years, successfully installing three spiral freezing systems over the last decade as the meat manufacture extended its processes. For Blakeman’s most recent project Starfrost was once again selected as preferred freezing equipment supplier.

Starfrost, together with parent company Star refrigeration, designed, manufactured and installed a Glacier Spiral system for Blakeman’s. The latest freezing system upgrade combines Helix Spiral Freezer technology and a unique low carbon ammonia refrigeration plant in one complete package.

The Glacier pack included a custom designed Helix Spiral Freezer with a processing capacity of 900 kg per hour of cooked sausages. The system features a stainless steel dual conveyor belt around a single rotating drum, with 28 tiers in total. In addition, the dual twin belt is equipped with optional side guards; this allows the customer to process various products simultaneously, giving increased flexibility to the processing line.

Blakeman’s Spiral Freezer features a ‘Clean in Place’ system, the CIP System is an automated cleaning system using rotating spray nozzles and spray bars, for targeted application of the detergent and sanitizer in major operating zones. Its unique design enables the process to be a repeatable, cost effective means of cleaning and sanitising the equipment, along with reducing operational downtime required for cleaning and maintenance.

The latest spiral system installed at Blakeman’s is designed to maximise uptime and requires minimal ongoing maintenance. Furthermore, the temperature control and a unique airflow is specially designed for delicate products such as skin on sausages, ensuring product quality is maintained for the customer.

Kevin Moller, Operational Manager at Blakeman’s, says: “We have worked alongside Starfrost on former freezing projects and have been very pleased with the results, they have proven to be reliable and have an understanding of our requirements, so when it came to looking for another spiral freezing system, it was an easy decision. The Glacier Helix has been designed to meet our precise specifications; it is operating effectively, enabling us to reduce maintenance and improve flexibility of our processing line, as well giving us capabilities to expand production in the future.”

Kevin Moller adds: “The primary, most important benefit of our latest install has been optimising hygienic performance within our facility, with rising safety demands within the food processing industry, food processors today must be extremely focused on hygiene within their production. The full ‘Clean in Place’ system combined with stainless steel enclosure and reverse cycle defrost allows for an effective hygienic process at Blakeman’s.”

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Oakland International Ireland Retains Global BRC Standard

Supply chain distribution specialist Oakland International has retained British Retailers Consortium’s (BRC) quality audit for storage and distribution for their Ireland facility located in Ashbourne, Co. Meath.

Oakland’s General Manager in Ireland, Richard Hill (pictured), comments: “Retaining BRC approval is fantastic news for the business and for our customers, with BRC accreditation providing assured acknowledgement that Oakland is a highly rated supply chain partner.”

Passing with flying colours, the clean audit followed a rigorous daylong assessment of environmental standards, operating systems, traceability, layout and product flow also incorporates handling requirements of specified materials which offers a bench mark for best practice within the storage and distribution industry. Oakland’s proactive methods facilitate continuous improvement in all systems and processes through the use of custom-made management systems to provide customer confidence that all products stored and distributed through Oakland International retain their inherent quality.

As well as reflecting the standard’s best practise, Oakland’s BRC accreditation demonstrates consistency and care in the supply chain operation which encompasses order picking and packing, a key factor in the firm’s popularity as an Irish supply chain operator of choice.

Oakland’s Quality Assurance Manager, Louise Smith, comments: “We are all delighted particularly as the audit provided us with such positive feedback. Our team’s dedication ensures attention to detail and flexibility of service offer is maintained throughout, delivering positive results time after time.”

Oakland’s customers using both UK and Ireland depots enjoy a seamless, fully controlled quality standard which suppliers and their retail and wholesale customers have confidence in that the highest standards of quality safety and legality are continually being followed.

Known for innovation, Oakland’s Ireland and the UK supply chain management solution offers an expanding range of support services including tempering, co-packing, multi-temperature distribution, distressed load management and brand development support.

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SonoSteam Technology Tackling Campylobacter in Poultry

SonoSteam is an innovative technology that is proving highly successful at tackling the pressing problem of Campylobacter in fresh poultry. Developed by Danish company Force Technology, SonoSteam uses a combination of steam and ultrasound to kill microorganisms such as Campylobacter on the skin and internal cavities of chicken. Force Technology has installed SonoSteam at Faccenda Foods and Cargill, two of the UK’s leading poultry processors.

The SonoSteam disinfection system also has wider use within the food industry including meat, fruits, vegetables and dairy products as well as non-food products such as conveyors, food boxes, crates and cutting knives.

Advantages of SonoSteam Technology

SonoSteam technology offers users a number of efficiency, food safety and environmental benefits along with other advantages. “This technology has proved itself capable of working day in and day out in a production environment and is not only cost effective but has been proven effective at reducing Campylobacter in an environmentally friendly way without chemicals, only water and a modest amount of energy,” explains Niels Krebs, Vice President of Force Technology.

He continues: “Delivering the best possible food safety to the customers is an important part of consumer relations. Customers can’t verify the microbiology of a product, so they have to trust the manufacturer. Complaints and products being recalled have severe consequences for the trust between consumer and manufacturer.”

Environmental Impact

Steam and ultrasound have minimum negative impact on the environment and consequently provide a cheaper, green alternative to chemicals. By using force instead of chemicals, SonoSteam will not cause bacteria to become resistant, leading to the formation of ‘superbugs’. Of course, an increased level of food safety improves public health and well being.

Niels Krebs points out: “The potentially increased shelf life caused by SonoSteam reduces food waste, an important problem concerning the environment, hunger, and increasing population. The use of force instead of chemicals makes post-treatment washing unnecessary, which ultimately saves water. Overall the whole process has a minimal impact on our environment.”

Showing Results

The installation of SonoSteam at poultry processing plants in the UK is already showing the effectiveness of the technology at tackling Campylobacter levels in fresh chicken, according to figures from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

During the October-December 2015 period, which was covered by the most recently published FSA Retail Survey for fresh whole chickens, all poultry sold through Morrisons was SonoSteam processed by Cargill in Hereford. Half of all poultry in ASDA was processed by SonoSteam, as Faccenda Foods only supplies 50% of whole birds sold in the grocery group. The FDA results showed that ASDA dropped from 24% to 10% on birds having a Campylobacter level higher than 1000 cfu/g, while Morrisons decreased from 25% to 5% to achieve the best position in the whole survey.

So what scale of businesses within the poultry industry can benefit from installing SonoSteam technology? The current SonoSteam equipment has been designed for production lines higher than 8,500 birds per hour. “However, many producers with smaller and slower production capacities have been making enquiries for a system running at 6,000 birds/hour,” he says. “Our coming equipment to process cut parts will be more suitable for any scale of business.”

Other Applications

SonoSteam technology has applications beyond the poultry industry and is proving to be a valuable tool for other types of food processors. SonoSteam can be applied on non-food surfaces.

Niels Krebs comments: “We are currently conducting the final testing of food boxes and conveyor belts, and it’s showing great potential. Boxes and conveyor belts constitute a potential risk in cross contamination in clean environments. Microorganisms and their biofilm can build up very quickly on the surfaces, if routine cleaning is inadequate or neglected. Disinfection with certain chemicals can cause selection of dangerous ‘superbugs’ that are able to outlive standard cleaning procedures. At worst case, the bacteria can end up on food products, where it can cause illnesses and even deaths. Listeria is a well-known example of this.”

Non-food surfaces can endure more intense and consequently more efficient treatment, which takes only two seconds for each box to reach a 100% disinfection rate on all surfaces and at lower cost than chemicals.

SonoSteam is also being applied within the health sector. For example, Force Technology is currently working on cleaning boxes that have been used for transporting sterile surgery equipment. Furthermore, the company’s mattress disinfection system is now being used in Danish hospitals.

Fact Box

Five facts about SonoSteam:

1 SonoSteam is a minimal process that applies the combined effect of steam and ultrasound for effective and fast disinfection within seconds.

2 The technology is a cost effective and chemical free.

3 Four SonoSteam units are currently installed at two different poultry plants in the UK, processing nearly 4 million birds per week.

4 Ongoing trials have shown more than 80% Campylobacter reduction on birds tested positive for the highest infection levels of higher than 1,000CFU.

5 SonoSteam has many applications and is besides poultry used for disinfection of conveyer belts, food trays and even hospital mattresses.

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Hygienic Drainage Design Within the Meat Processing Industry

In the meat processing industry it is vital to maintain high hygiene standards to ensure the fresh meat goods are safe for consumers. On a daily basis regular and thorough cleaning regimes are in place to avoid the risk of contamination.

There are a few factors to consider when designing a factory, which will help to contribute to a hygienic environment. A drainage system and the surrounding flooring needs to work together to provide an efficient rate of waste water removal. The flooring must provide appropriate falls, which are directed towards either a drain channel or a drain gully within a processing area, so the waste water does not start to pool.

During processing, the meat industry produces solid fats and skeleton waste, which are required to be removed from the area during wash down. It is important that any solid debris is filtered out of the waste water via a drain trash basket, which sits within a drain channel outlet or drain gully.

An anti-backflow valve can also be installed onto a drainage system to close off the drain outlet pipe in the event of a blockage. The valve therefore prevents any waste water re-entering the meat processing area, removing the risk of contaminating fresh goods.

To provide safety under foot for people working in the processing area amongst meats, oils and greases, an anti-slip stainless steel drain cover, in a ladder design with a scalloped edge, can work with the tread of a person’s footwear to prevent unnecessary slips and falls.

Aspen stainless steel products are designed to help achieve a hygienic environment, with removable components to enable all drainage parts to be easily cleaned. Browse the product range online, which has full technical data available to download, and discuss your bespoke requirements with the Aspen Technical Team today; +44 (0)115 986 6321, aspen@canalengineering.co.uk, www.aspen.eu.com.

 

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Loma Increases Focus on Convenience Food Market

Driven by busy ‘time poor’ lifestyles and an ageing population, the convenience food market continues to flourish. With growing demand for products that have longer shelf life, can be eaten on the move, are simple to use and boast more innovative packaging formats, Loma Systems is highlighting the suitability of its high performance combination X5c X-ray and Checkweighing unit for inspecting frozen and chilled ready meals and food-to-go options. The two integrated ‘detect and weigh’ technologies ensure food safety for brand protection, and consistency in weight, size and shape.

As well as ready meals, there is an increasing trend for portable meal options that are normally consumed off premises, with retailers continuously developing new food products that make eating on the move easier, but that also offer authenticity, premium quality and healthier choices.

Ready meals and food-to-go products often contain multiple elements or ingredients packaged in different compartments, include additional items like cutlery or condiments, and have high salt content. Plus many snacks such as nuts and cereals fluctuate in density which can make it difficult to find foreign bodies. All of these variants can create inspection challenges for convenience food manufacturers.

Capable of weighing products while simultaneously inspecting for foreign bodies in one compact and easy to use format, Loma’s X5c X-ray combination system (pictured) has been specially developed with ready meal and food-to-go processors and packers in mind. The technologically advanced machine detects physical contaminants whilst ensuring perfect product presentation and quality assurance with fill level and seal inspection, mass measurement and component counts. It can also identify lumps of product including seasoning or powder.

Loma’s X5c X-ray combination system can be easily integrated where production space is limited and helps manufacturers adhere to the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC) standards and meet major retailers’ codes of practice. The X5c X-ray machine can be bolted on to an existing CW3 Checkweigher as one unit for truly effective Critical Control Point (CCP) detection.

Built to Loma’s ‘Designed to Survive’ specifications, the X5c X-ray combination unit, including reject facility, measures just 2.5 metres in length. Produced from stainless steel, the complete combination unit is lead free and offers an unrivalled IP55 wash down design. Capable of running at speeds up to 150 packs per minute, it is operated using two independent control panels and has separate reject bins for out of weight and contaminated products.

Convenience foods packaged in foil and metallised film, as well as changes in product temperature and moisture content have no effect on the sensitivity of the foreign body inspection capabilities of Loma’s X5c.

The X5c reduces the cost of ownership of X-ray technology by 30% when compared to the company’s other X5 models, making it ideal for food companies keen to make the switch to X-ray for the first time or to replace lower performance ferrous-in-foil twin head metal detectors. This fully specified system offers good quality contaminant inspection using a reduced number of well-proven subcomponents and streamlined design.

The X5c is multilevel password protected for improved data management, which means the system can log events against individual operators. It is ideal for the detection of all metal types, glass, calcified bone, rubber and stone in various packaging. The machine is capable of handling products up to 100mm (height) x and 300mm (width) and weighing no more than 6kg – making it ideal for a wide range of inspection applications.

With significant energy saving benefits and providing the best balance of processing power to inspection, the X5c X-ray machine incorporates a detector array with 0.8mm diode pitch

offering a low 80 watt power consumption and self-contained high efficiency X-ray generator. A simple, effective cooling mechanism ensures long tank life and maintenance-free operation.

Loma’s range of CW3 checkweighers offer peace of mind that every packed product leaving the production line will have the correct weight and meet strict legal or retailer requirements.

Like the X5c, the CW3 checkweigher is designed for operation in the toughest of production environments. It boasts quick change conveyor parts and powerful AC motors plus the tubular framework delivers a hygienic design but is flexible if transport or reject systems need to be changed.

For further information visit www.loma.com.

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SORTEX F Optical Sorter For the Frozen Fruit and Vegetable Industry

Scrutiny of hygienic processing practices in the frozen fruit and vegetable sector hasintensified, following several high-profile food contamination outbreaks. Bühler, a global leader in optical sorting technology for the removal of foreign material (FM) contamination, has addressed this and claims to have developed the most hygienic optical sorter available today, to help reduce the risk of microbial contamination.

As part of its research to understand the root causes of contamination, Bühler experts undertook extensive analysis of food safety risks, based on recalls in Europe and the USA. In most cases, they found that the problem could be traced back to the accumulation of food in certain locations within the machinery, particularly hollows, crevices and other areas with poor accessibility for cleaning.

Bühler product manager, Stephen Jacobs, explains: “The past couple of years in particular have seen some very high profile cases of product contamination. For instance, earlier this year there was a major listeria outbreak in the United States[1] that was traced back to a frozen fruit and vegetable processing plant. A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report said inspectors found chipped and cracked plastic on parts of the plant equipment, which also did not allow for proper cleaning and maintenance.

“Thorough and regular cleaning of food processing facilities and equipment is the cornerstone of good manufacturing practice and one of the key pre-requisites for maintaining hygiene standards. To ensure that the SORTEX F meets the highest possible hygiene specifications, Bühler’s food hygiene team has worked closely with institutions such as EHEDG and Campden BRI.  This included the testing of machine materials for long-term robustness and its design for trouble-free cleaning and maintenance.”

The SORTEX F features a pioneering retractable chute that can be repositioned to allow operators to physically step inside and access internal areas of the machine.  Sloped surfaces ensure that all product residue runs off, eliminating the risk of product build up.  The finish of all metal surfaces complies with the recommended requirement for safe food contact and all polymer materials are resistant to high pressure washer jets and compliant to FDA regulations.  Attention has been paid to the smallest details, such as the use of spacer brackets, to create access for cleaning between components, where bacteria could otherwise harbour undetected.  The resulting machine is an unrivalled convergence of innovations, to improve hygiene standards in the food industry.

For food processors, it has never been more important to have state-of-the-art hygienic equipment to help meet the most stringent food safety specifications. The SORTEX F optical sorter, with its innovative open access, for quick, easy and thorough cleaning, has been designed to prevent the build up of pathogenic bacteria that can induce food-borne diseases such as Salmonella, E. Coli, Listeria and Norovirus.

Well designed hygienic equipment such as the SORTEX F also brings tangible benefits for food manufacturers and processors. Not only does it reduce the risk of contamination – and, thereby, minimise the possibility of costly product recall – it also increases productivity, as less water, chemicals, time and people are needed for cleaning. Unquestionably, product changeover is shorter due to faster cleaning and so too is inspection and maintenance, due to good accessibility and easy dismantling.

Adds Jacobs “Overall, hygienic design contributes to more consistent product quality with less out-of-spec products, lower risk of spoilage, a better shelf life and thus less waste. By helping to reduce the risk of contamination, whether FM or bacterial, we are making food safer and, ultimately, saving food.”

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/23/us/listeria-outbreak-frozen-fruits-and-vegetables-recall.html?_r=1

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Whyte & Mackay Works With Ideagen to Boost Quality, Safety and Compliance

Whyte & Mackay, the global drinks brand company, is working with leading software vendor Ideagen to improve quality, safety and compliance management at its bottling operations. Ideagen’s Q-Pulse software has been rolled out across Whyte & Mackay’s plant in Grangemouth, Scotland, to improve document and audit management and ease compliance with standards such as BRC.

Q-Pulse, an electronic quality management system, has replaced a series of paper based processes helping the organisation improve all aspects of its operations, including enhancing levels of safety reporting.

Norman Elliott, Compliance Manager at Whyte & Mackay, says: “The management of document control and easing of compliance were huge drivers for us ahead of this project. Previously we had been using a series of manual systems and processes which were becoming dated and at times a hindrance to what we were trying to do in regards to both quality and safety.

whytemackaylogo“After choosing Q-Pulse and implementing the software, everything we require is now in one system and for document management and control that is excellent. It means we no longer need to check if the correct processes are being followed or the most up-to-date documentation being used as the system does that for us automatically.”

He continues: “Q-Pulse has encouraged more ownership of the quality system across the entire bottling plant and also makes it easier to comply with standards such as BRC and ISO45001 (OHSAS 18001). Now, when we are audited, it’s a case of quickly and easily finding the information the auditor requires and also presenting them with the history of our actions. The auditor can historically see what we have done and why we have done it – quickening audit times and simplifying the compliance process.

“Previously, we would have been under pressure trying to prepare for those audits. But Q-Pulse is a one stop shop for us to go and find any quality, safety or compliance information that is required – whether that’s for our own internal staff or external auditors.”

Whyte & Mackay, based in Scotland and founded in 1844, produces single malt and blended Scotch whiskies, liqueurs and vodkas with brands including Whyte and Mackay Blended Scotch, The Dalmore, Jura and Fettercairn single malts; Glayva liqueur and Vladivar Vodka.

ideagenlogoSince implementing the Q-Pulse software within its bottling plant, the company has extended the system to adopt processes linked with health and safety, near miss reporting and safety improvement programmes.

Norman Elliott adds: “As well as the improvements from the quality side, Q-Pulse has helped us improve our investigations into safety incidents. Now, to get to the root cause of an incident, we can record corrective and preventive actions through the Q-Pulse incident management functionality, known as IMS, and this fits very nicely with our overall health and safety management. One of our major successes was in encouraging staff to come forward with safety improvement suggestions using Q-Pulse and its IMS functionality.  Our staff are taking more ownership in overall safety around the plant. By tackling safety in this proactive way, and because everything is recorded in the Q-Pulse system, we can show inspectors exactly how we have tried to prevent accidents.With Q-Pulse, we have been able to become more proactive in terms of risk and safety management.”

Ideagen’s Q-Pulse is used by over 2,200 organisations globally including some of the biggest names in the Manufacturing, Aviation, Rail, Energy and Life Science industries.

 

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Egemin to Build Third Automated High-bay Warehouse For Agristo

Belgian pre-fried and frozen potato products manufacturer Agristo is teaming up with Egemin Automation for the third time in a row for the construction of a new, fully automated high-bay deepfreeze warehouse. The new warehouse will be built in Wielsbeke (90 km West of Brussels) on a 25-hectare lot. Alongside the storage facilities, Agristo is also erecting new production buildings and green zones. The investment needs to support extra production capacity, further improve Agristo’s quality insurance and expand the company’s storage capacity.

Work started on the new site at the beginning of September. The warehouse will be nearly 45 metres high, and with 15 storage levels it will accommodate 50,000 pallets, or 35,000 tons of frozen fries. The warehouse is due to go into operation in autumn 2017. Agristo already has two Egemin high-bay warehouses in use, in Tilburg (2012) and Nazareth (2015).

agristotilburgegemincompressedEgemin is handling the complete intralogistics infrastructure and the automation of the warehouse operations. It is providing the warehouse racks for the clad rack structure, as well as the pallet stacker cranes, the conveyor system and pallet lifts that connect production and shipping with the high-bay warehouse. Agristo will use Egemin’s E’wms software for automatic control and management of its new warehouse and all transport systems.

“Automation means that it is easier for Agristo to guarantee the quality of its products,” says Marcel Spruijt, Sales Manager at Egemin. “The cold chain is never interrupted even for a moment. The pallet conveyor system automatically conveys the frozen fries from production to the high-bay warehouse. In addition, fewer actions are needed to move products to the warehouse, which reduces the risk of damage to the pallets and packaging.”

agristonazarethcompressedThe high-performance warehouse concept has a double outfeed conveyor system on two levels. This means that Agristo can handle large buffers very quickly making it possible to load trucks from the warehouse in barely 15-20 minutes.

Green Technology

The clad rack structure of the deepfreeze warehouse is designed to use energy sustainably. “The production and storage of frozen fries takes a lot of energy,” says Carmen Wallays, Procurement & Logistics Director at Agristo. “When designing this new project with Egemin, we therefore paid a lot of attention to efficiency, sustainability and the environment.”

As a result, the roof and wall insulation is thicker than the standard for deepfreeze warehouses. The pallet stacker cranes have an internal energy recovery system.The system collects the energy released during lowering and braking operations of the cranes and feeds the energy back into the power grid. In this way, the cranes save up to 20% energy, less heat is released into the warehouse and less cooling is required.

Posted in Chilling & Refrigeration, Logistics, Storage, SustainabilityComments Off on Egemin to Build Third Automated High-bay Warehouse For Agristo

Limerick Packaging is Now FSC Accredited

Limerick Packaging has announced that it is now FSC accredited. “This was always going to be our next goal following ISO9001:2008 accreditation,” explains Sales Director, Mike Boland.

“We have always operated on the basis that we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children, and given this, to be able to trace our papers back to managed forests is of paramount importance to us and our environment,” he adds.

limerickpackaging2november2016Limerick Packaging’s expertise is very much directed towards the design and production of Shelf Ready Packs (SRP’s) for the food industry, and printed in all formats such as Litho, Litho-Laminated corrugated, Flexo print, Post-Print Flexo and Pre-Print. Value Engineering programs have meant significant savings for the company’s customers where clever pack designs have led to better runnability or considerable reductions in production costs or logistics costs.

According to Mike Boland: “The secret to an easy life at work is to entrust your packaging requirements to us in Limerick Packaging, and we will reward that trust with top quality products at a reasonable price and delivered ‘On Time Everytime’. Our customer is King.”

Mike Boland adds: “We are not done yet. We will continue to strive for improvement with PEFC now firmly in our sights and we are also working towards OHSAS 18001.”

 

Posted in Packaging, Quality AssuranceComments Off on Limerick Packaging is Now FSC Accredited

A UK First For Scottish Salmon Company

The Scottish Salmon Company has become the first salmon producer in the UK to secure full GGN licensing, an international consumer labelling scheme which guarantees the quality of production and origin of fish and seafood. GGN labels enable consumers to identify products made from fish and seafood raised in GLOBALG.A.P. certified farms. GLOBALG.A.P. is one of the world’s leading farm assurance systems with strict criteria covering legal compliance, food safety, animal welfare, environmental practices and health & safety.

The Internet portal GGN.ORG, is a platform for dialogue to enable direct communication and transparency between farmers and consumers.

Each label carries a 13-digit GGN identification number which consumers can enter online at www.ggn.org to find out about the farm and which fish or seafood was bred in, providing full traceability and transparency. Information on the farms and their good practices are detailed on the site.

The Scottish Salmon Company is the leading Scottish-based producer of fresh salmon, with sites on the West Coast and Hebrides. Its farms and processing facilities have been GLOBALG.A.P. certified since 2008.

Craig Anderson, managing director of The Scottish Salmon Company, says: “Provenance and traceability are of increasing importance to consumers and are paramount to our business. Securing the right to use GGN labelling on our salmon provides even further reassurance of the premium quality of our Scottish salmon to our customers and consumers.”

He adds: “By managing every stage of the production process, from broodstock through freshwater and marine farming to harvesting and packaging, as well as sales and marketing, we can ensure complete supply chain integrity, premium quality and full traceability.”

Posted in Marketing, Packaging, Quality AssuranceComments Off on A UK First For Scottish Salmon Company

The Importance of Food Safety in the Hospitality Sector

Maintaining excellent food safety standards in the hospitality industry is a major issue and left unchecked, it can cost companies thousands of pounds in fines. Financial repayments aside, the damage to a company’s reputation and brand loyalty can take years to rectify, if at all.

One Irish company, Kelsius is providing a digital solution to this problem by revolutionising the way food is stored and cooked. With offices in the UK and Ireland and a network of partners in Europe, Middle East, Australia and the USA, it is quickly becoming an integral part of the food safety ecosystem for companies that have facilities to serve food.

Its in-house bespoke product, FoodCheck uses wireless temperature monitoring technology and digital HACCP Management system, which ensures the highest levels of food safety are adhered to by staff and management, while also guaranteeing maximum product safety for complete food safety control. In addition to the safety element, it also massively reduces the costs associated with time required for maintaining these standards – in some instances up to 30 hours per week.

Major Deal

The company recently landed a major six-figure deal with Five Guys UK to provide the premier global burger chain FoodCheck. It is now supplying 50 Five Guys locations across the UK as well as other global sites such as Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Spain.

Five Guys using Kelsius FoodCheck.

Five Guys using Kelsius FoodCheck.

With no freezers on site, everything in Five Guys is cooked from scratch, so food must be delivered and stored at exact temperatures. UK IT Director for Five Guys, William Day says: “The FoodCheck paperless HACCP system is easy-to-use allowing staff to concentrate on the quality of food we provide. Records are easily and securely accessed for each location and the reporting is what really sets the system apart. This makes life much easier for a HACCP audit or inspection.”

Public Sector

The FoodCheck solution also operates extremely well in the public sector, even if the customer has multiple locations. One example is a recent contract Kelsius secured with Reading University to install the largest single deployment of its FoodCheck Paperless HACCP system. The deal is for 17 individual FoodCheck systems covering every element of food production and food service rolled out across the entirety of Reading University, which is comprised of three separate campuses.

Reading University team trying FoodCheck.

Reading University team trying FoodCheck.

Neil Stafford from Reading University says: “The new Kelsius system is fantastic. I am able to add staff, tasks, vendors and products within minutes an get instant alerts on fridge and freezer issues. My aim was to provide the staff with an easy system to use, that they would not be nervous to use. I have a full tractability on everything within the system and again so easy to gain reports.”

Kelsius Chief Executive, Andrew Logan, who is championing the use of FoodCheck technology across public and private sector operations, comments: “Both the Five Guys deal and the Reading University contracts are a massive boost for our company and a real testament to the strength of our product within the foodsafety sector. In both these instances, FoodCheck has proven its ability to monitor the safety of food from the moment it arrives on the premises, during the storage and cooking process and ultimately until it is purchased by the customer. The importance of this chain cannot be overstated, and companies that does not take food safety seriously are very foolish considering the massive long-term financial implications.”

Find out more about how Kelsius can help your business at www.kelsius.com, www.facebook.com/paperlessHACCP and @KelsiusRealTime.

Posted in Food Safety, Quality AssuranceComments Off on The Importance of Food Safety in the Hospitality Sector

Hygienic Stainless Steel Environments Within Dairies

canalengineeringnovember2016In dairy industries it is vital that hygiene standards are kept to a very high standard. To do this, the choice of materials used in the construction of a dairy are required to cope with the daily processing and production demands.

Drainage and wall kerbing, which make up part of a dairy, are important products that need consideration. To reduce costs, many may opt for these to be made out of concrete, however over time concrete dries out and is prone to cracking. This can jeopardise a hygienic environment as unwanted bacteria will harbour in the cracks, no matter the size. Concrete is also a hard material to thoroughly clean as it is not impermeable and can absorb some moisture, weakening the structure. In time the concrete may therefore erode and cause construction issues within a dairy, which would disrupt the daily production of their goods.

Alternatively, drainage and wall kerbing can be manufactured from stainless steel. Stainless steel is resistant to caustic cleaning materials and lactic acid, which are common elements in a dairy. This resistance ensures that the stainless steel surface does not corrode, rust or weaken making it an excellent long term solution in construction.

As well as the material it is made from, the layout and design of a drainage system is also important. A drainage system will need the appropriate flow rates to cope with the volume of liquid waste water in the area. A drainage system also goes hand in hand with the flooring design so liquid waste water drains effectively into the channels or gullies. Doing this prevents any pooling or standing water, which is prone to bacteria build up.

A stainless steel wall kerbing system can also work with the flooring design. A seamless connection between the floor and the wall can be made by installing a resin wall cove onto the kerbing. This drastically improves the efficiency of cleaning by removing any creases or angled connections. In turn this reduces the amount of areas bacteria and small debris can harbour and grow.

With strict hygiene demands throughout the dairy industry, Aspen Stainless has the ability to provide a tailored product package to meet your specialist requirements using its range of drainage, wall kerbing and protection.

Browse the product range online, which has full technical data available to download and discuss your bespoke requirements with the Aspen Technical Team on Tel +44 (0)115 986 6321 or visit www.aspen.eu.com.

Posted in Hygiene, Processing, Quality AssuranceComments Off on Hygienic Stainless Steel Environments Within Dairies

Clean in Place (CIP) – Process Safety With the CombiLyz Conductivity Meter

By Stefan Blust, Business Manager Food & Beverage, Baumer

baumernovember2016The food and beverage industry is faced with continually rising quality standards, increasing cost pressure and strict hygienic regulations. As a result, requirements for processing systems and their efficient cleaning are growing. With an accuracy of 1% and a measuring range of 500 μS/cm to 1000 mS/cm, together with fast and accurate temperature compensation, the innovative CombiLyz conductivity meter has the ideal technical properties to support CIP safely and cost-effectively.

In order to guarantee food safety, production and filling facilities must be cleaned regularly. This is usually done using an automated CIP process (the cleaning of a process engineering system without dismantling it) and is part of a fully automated production process. In the food industry, the correct settings for a CIP process are very comprehensive, since the final CIP processes can often only be defined after the systems have been set up and meaningful tests have been carried out. There are as many requirements as there are cleaning programs. Some systems are cleaned with water only, while chemical cleaning agents like acidic or caustic solutions are used in others. Some systems recover the water from the last rinsing cycle and use it for the first rinsing cycle of the next CIP sequence in order to keep overall running costs low.

Optimum Interaction of Physical Parameters

For all cleaning processes, however, the optimum interaction of different physical parameters is critical. The exact concentration of cleaning agents, while taking into account flow rate, pressure, temperature and time, defines a reproducible process in which the CombiLyz clearly illustrates its superiority.

While the concentration of the acid or alkali is increasing, the conductivity meter controls the specified concentration of the relevant cleaning media. With precise measurements, it ensures no more chemicals are used than necessary. This saves resources and protects the environment. During the phase separation in the CIP return flow, the CombiLyz with its good temperature compensation quickly recognizes different media, even when temperatures fluctuate enormously. This reduces the losses of stored cleaning agents. After one cleaning cycle, the CombiLyz accurately measures the concentration of the remaining chemicals in the rinse water. With this information, the PLC can control the predefined media circuits exactly and reliably using valve nodes. This reduces the risk of food being contaminated by residual chemicals.

Robust Hygienic Design and User-friendliness

The robust sensing element of the meter is made completely of PEEK. In order to meet the requirements of different installations, it is available in lengths of 37 mm, 60 mm and 83 mm. Its compact design reduces the flow resistance in the line, since the pipe cross-section is only minimally influenced. Deposits and impurities can be more easily transported out of the system. The hygienically designed sensing element itself can also be cleaned very easily, which is confirmed by the EHEDG certification and conformity with the 3-A standards. Furthermore, its design is exceedingly durable, and is specially made for use in applications with frequent temperature shocks. This guarantees a long service life, reduces unnecessary downtime and thus increases system availability.

Thanks to its very user-friendly operation by touch screen and its modular housing, the CombiLyz is outstanding in its class.

The conductivity meter is available with or without CombiView. This large, illuminated display can be rotated 360° and can thus be read easily from all directions, even from a great distance. It allows different view options, for example the simultaneous display of conductivity and concentration values as well as fully customizable text (water, alkali or acid etc.). Alarms and configurations can be visualized on the device and can also be transmitted to the higher level controller. With its integrated relay, the conductivity meter can carry out simple control tasks, for example in microbreweries with a low degree of automation, where food safety is of great importance and where valves are to be addressed directly without a process control system. The same applies to retrofitting of systems being upgraded from manually controlled to partly automated processes.

The CombiLyz sensor is available as a compact and as a separate version. The latter is available with cable lengths of 2.5 m, 5 m and 10 m. If required in the application, the display and the sensing element can be installed separately. This offers maximum flexibility for optimum mounting positions.

A wide range of adapters allows hygienic installation in most standard process connections. This makes it the ideal solution for many CIP systems.

Further information visit www.baumer.com/CIP.

Posted in Food Safety, Hygiene, Processing, Quality AssuranceComments Off on Clean in Place (CIP) – Process Safety With the CombiLyz Conductivity Meter

TASI TEST – The Global Leader in Packaging Leak Test and Inspection

TASI TEST represents a new force in the packaging leak detection market by combining 3 top industry players, ALPS, Bonfiglioli and Sepha to provide an unrivalled range of solutions across diverse global markets.  All three companies are owned by TASI Group, a group of global businesses that share a common focus on Test, Inspection and Measurement.  With packaging testing at their core, ALPS, Bonfiglioli and Sepha have been working together in recent years as sister companies to best utilize their common strengths.

Established in 1974 in the USA, ALPS is a leading innovator of high speed linear and rotary equipment used to test plastic containers such as blow moulded and injection moulded bottles.  Founded in the same year, Bonfiglioli Engineering (now Bonfig) has an extensive product line of leak testing solutions ranging from lab scale, off line, on line high speed and combination system combine vision inspection or head space gas analysis with traditional leak testing. Bonfig has extensive experience in the design and manufacture of quality control packaging testing solutions across a range of vertical markets including Pharma, Metal can, Aerosol and Food & Beverage.  Finally, with over 35 years in the industry, Sepha is a specialist engineering company that focuses on innovating equipment used in the production, integrity testing and emptying of Solid dose pharmaceutical packaging.

Individually, each of these companies has developed a strong brand reputation in its field, based on high quality products and exceptional customer service.  By combining development, manufacturing and sales operations of the three, TASI TEST offers clients increased confidence in the high quality, value-added testing solutions that they have come to expect from each individual brand, with increased technical expertise and global customer service support.

The organisation has a global footprint combining engineering and design innovation hubs based in the US, Italy and the UK..  Primary manufacturing operations are located in Harrison, OH USA, Ferrara Italy and  custom-build Sepha projects in the UK.  TASI Test is truely a global leader in quality contol solutions.  We offer local service technicians and testing labs in most major markets for testing your application in house.  Integrating these operations with truly global sales team; TASITEST offers a new level of innovation, efficiency and breadth of application within the package testing industry.

TASITEST will be introduced to the market at a number of industry specific international exhibitions in the build up to its official launch at Pack Expo in Chicago from 6th – 9th November and the PDA events in Long Beach California and Berlin, Germany.

We invite you to stop by our Booth #S-1536  and see some of our latest innovations in quality control solutions for your application.

For more information, visit www.tasitest.com, or contact info@tasitest.com

Posted in Packaging, Quality AssuranceComments Off on TASI TEST – The Global Leader in Packaging Leak Test and Inspection

Starch Europe Announces Winners of 2015-2016 Safety Awards

Improving safety practices and achieving a safer working environment is a priority for all the EU starch producers. Starch Europe has announced the winners of this year’s safety awards.

In 2014, Starch Europe launched the Starch Europe Safety Programme which recognizes the best performing EU starch plants in minimizing accidents at work. Starch Europe companies go beyond all relevant national, EU and international health and safety legislation, to minimize the possibility of accidents occurring.

The Starch Europe Safety Programme grants two types of awards:

The year award – awarded to plants which registered no employee lost workday cases involving days away from work for the calendar year, and no employee and no non-employee workplace fatalities for the calendar year.

The million hour award – awarded to plants which registered 1 million consecutive employee hours without an employee lost workday case and without a workplace-related fatality of an employee or non-employee during the period.

StarchEuropeLogoData are collected on a quarterly basis by PWC from companies participating on a voluntary basis. The collection of this data started from 1st July 2014. PWC ensures the validity and consistency of the data provided and reports on eligible plants for each award.

39 of the 75 starch plants in the EU represented by the 24 member companies of Starch Europe, participated in the safety award scheme from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016[1]. For the first year, Starch Europe grants both Year Awards and Million-Hour Awards.

Starch Europe is delighted to announce that the 4 following plants are the first to be awarded the Million-Hour Award for 2015-2016:

Million Hour Award
COMPANY PLANT
Cargill Castelmassa, Italy
Cargill Haubourdin, France
Cargill Sas van Gent, Netherlands
Roquette Amilina, Lithuania

The Year Award was granted to 17 plants this year – 2 more than last year. Starch Europe is pleased to announce that the following plants were granted the Year Award:

Year Award
COMPANY PLANT
Avebe Gasselternijveen, Netherlands
Avebe Malmö, Sweden
Avebe Ter Apelkanaal, Netherlands
Cargill Barby, Germany
Cargill Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands
Cargill Castelmassa, Italy
Cargill Krefeld, Germany
Cargill Manchester, United Kingdom
Cargill Wroclaw, Poland
Finnamyl Oy Kokemäki, Finland
Roquette Amilina,  Lithuania
Roquette Beinheim, France
Roquette Vecquemont, France
Tereos Haussimont, France
Tereos Lillebonne, France
Tate & Lyle Tate and Lyle, Netherlands
Tate & Lyle Amylum,  Slovakia

 

Posted in Health & SafetyComments Off on Starch Europe Announces Winners of 2015-2016 Safety Awards

Quality Control of Milk and Milk Products With FT-NIR Spectroscopy

FT-NIR spectroscopy allows a rapid and efficient analysis of the major parameters fat, protein, dry matter, and lactose as well as more specialized special parameters such as salt and pH. It is utilized today in many companies for analysis of solid and paste-like products, such as milk powder, cheese, butter or yogurt. These products are measured without time-consuming sample preparation in diffuse reflection.

The optimal solution for analyzing raw milk and liquid milk products is a combination of the FT-NIR spectrometer MPA with the Liquid Sampling Module LSM, which allows semi-automatic sample feeding and auto-cleaning routines of the system. The LSM is a dual system, i.e. depending on the product and its viscosity the sample can either be pre-treated by the homogenizer or directly fed into the flow cell by a peristaltic pump. This will significantly extended the service life of the homogenizer without having to make hardware adjustments.

bruker2october2016In terms of accuracy and repeatability, the FT-NIR analysis is comparable to the traditional FT-IR systems, but has significantly more options. Not only milk, but also liquid derivatives of milk and milk products can be measured independently of the formulation with the same instrument. Even very viscous samples such as condensed milk and concentrates can be analyzed easily due to the large optical path length of the flow cell (1000 um). The combination of MPA and LSM can handle sugar containing products such as yogurt drinks, flavoured milk and even products with high fibre content such as cat milk.

In addition to the different types of milk, following sample types can be analyzed:

  • Whey and whey concentrates
  • Whey protein and lactose concentrates
  • Cream and whey cream
  • Permeate and Retentate
  • (Sweet) Condensed milk
  • Milk and yoghurt based drinks
  • Melted ice cream.

Bruker Optics offers a simple and reliable solution for the milk-processing industry together with ready-to-use calibrations for milk and dairy products.

Posted in Processing, Quality AssuranceComments Off on Quality Control of Milk and Milk Products With FT-NIR Spectroscopy

Clada Group Takes Gold in Irish Q Mark Awards

Clada Group, based in Galway, has been named as the best food and drinks manufacturer in Ireland for Quality Management Systems at this year’s National Q Mark Awards. Founded in 1962 by the Owens brothers, Clada Group’s primary business focus was the sourcing and bottling of soft drinks and water- utilising onsite fresh water springs. This has evolved into the importation and distribution of fruit and vegetables, boutique beers and wines and the provision of draught water to domestic and commercial customers. The company employs 45 people.

The Q Mark Awards are associated with Quality and Excellence in the minds of Irish consumers and it is the only system which allows businesses monitor 100% of their processes and procedures 100% of the time. Winning this award has shown that Clada Group truly cares about its customers and is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that it achieves the highest possible standards at all times.

CAPTION:

Picture (left to right): Irene Collins, Managing Director of The National Q Mark Awards; Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for Social Protection; and Ursula Owens of Clada Group.

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Independent Craft Beer of Ireland Symbol Launched

The Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland (ICBI) has launched the official ‘Independent Craft Beer of Ireland’ symbol. This symbol was launched to assist the consumer in seeking out genuine Irish craft beer. The aim of the symbol is to simply allow the consumer to make an informed purchase decision based on the providence of the product they are purchasing.

From a consumer standpoint, the messaging behind the use of the symbol on products is as follows:

  • There has been so much growth in the beer market, in Ireland with in excess of 80 registered microbreweries now in operation when a little as five years ago there were less than 20.
  • This is all fantastic for the consumer, leading to such great choice of beers being available to them. Along with the beers, craft beer drinkers also love the names and stories behind the breweries.
  • Unfortunately, some other companies are jumping in on this and releasing products into the market which they are misrepresenting as craft beer, and being vague about origin to suggest a provenance of craft beer from an independent Irish brewery.
  • irishcraftbrewingsymbolThe Independent Irish Craft Beer symbol offers reassurance to consumers that the beer they are buying is what it purports to be – that the brewery the beer came from is independently owned, small scale, a registered microbrewery as recognised by Revenue, and that the brewer has complete ownership of the brand.
  • What this means for the consumer is that they can easily identify a beer which comes from an independent Irish craft brewer and make an informed choice, based on the provenance of the beer.
  • For the Irish craft brewers, it gives a means by which they can take a stand against the misrepresentation of brands and to identify themselves as what they are – small scale breweries, brewing their own beers in their own microbreweries.
  • The Independent Irish Craft Beer symbol had been devised and developed by ICBI, the Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland, however use of the symbol is not confined to ICBI members.
  • Any brewer whose beer fulfils the criteria may submit it for approval by the review panel, who will meet quarterly to approve applications and address any complaints concerning use of the symbol. Use of the symbol will be managed through spot checks on the marketplace and a formalised channel for making complaints of any beer which it is felt is using the symbol deceptively.

By technical definition the criteria for usage of the symbol is as follows:

  1. The applicant company must have a current Brewers Manufacturers License from Revenue.
  2. The applicant company must have a current ATP 3 Form.
  3. The applicant must submit a signed declaration to confirm:
    1. That they are economically independent of any brewery producing over 30,000HL per annum;
    2. That they meet Enterprise Ireland’s definition of an SME;
    3. That they own and control the brand for which they are applying for use of the logo;
    4. That the beer to carry the logo was brewed in Ireland by them in their brewery and not under contract by another brewery;
    5. That the beer to carry the logo was packaged by them, or under contract for them, on the island of Ireland.

Posted in Marketing, Quality AssuranceComments Off on Independent Craft Beer of Ireland Symbol Launched

Innovative Self-priming Pump Does Double Duty For Dairies

By Allan Bruun, Industry Manager, Dairy, Market Unit Food, Alfa Laval

Are you looking for a self-priming pump that improves energy efficiency and reduces noise levels, as well as meeting the latest hygienic design standards? Using airscrew technology, the Alfa Laval LKH Prime sets a new standard in self-priming pump technology.

Based on the Alfa Laval LKH premium range of centrifugal pumps the Alfa Laval LKH Prime is specifically constructed for pumping liquids containing entrained air, making it an excellent choice as a CIP return pump. The Alfa Laval LKH Prime is 40 percent more energy efficient and operates at noise levels 80 percent below conventional liquid-ring pumps. As all pumps in the LKH family, the Alfa Laval LKH Prime is EHEDG certified and authorized to carry the 3-A symbol.

Versatile and efficient, the Alfa Laval LKH Prime is therefore of interest to dairy owners and operators who are concerned with:

  • Reducing energy consumption
  • Improving the work environment
  • Reducing installation costs.

Reducing Energy Consumption

alfalaval1october2016compressedThe hydraulic efficiency of the Alfa Laval LKH Prime reaches over 50% (Image 1). This means the Alfa Laval LKH Prime offers an added advantage over liquid-ring pumps, which typically reach efficiencies of approximately 30 percent. Its high efficiency is easily attainable at a wide flow range, which translates into substantial savings no matter the duty point.

Improving the Work Environment

The Alfa Laval LKH Prime also contributes to a better work environment. It reduces the noise emission level by up to 80 percent compared to conventional liquid-ring pumps. With a noise level of a mere 74dBA, the Alfa Laval LKH Prime efficiently eliminates the need for these protective measures.

Reducing Installation Costs

While the Alfa Laval LKH Prime is primarily designed for CIP return duties, the hygienic design means it may also be used to pump dairy products. For instance, the Alfa Laval LKH Prime is a reliable pump for emptying milk tanks. Because of the pump’s ability to handle both CIP return liquid and dairy products, it is possible to eliminate the need for a separate liquid-ring pump.

The Alfa Laval LKH Prime combines the gentle product treatment and hygienic design of the LKH range with the liquid-ring principle. In many cases, this can reduce the number of pumps required for an installation from two to just a single pump.

Reducing the installation costs from two liquid-ring pumps to one Alfa Laval LKH Prime pump results in:

  • Lower capital investment, one pump instead of two
  • Lower piping, cabling and automation costs
  • Lower spare parts and service costs.

Service is a key element of any Alfa Laval offering and the commonality of spares, including the shaft seal, in the LKH range translates into reduced spare parts inventory and fast maintenance.

Working Principle

As the pump starts up, a liquid ring is formed in the pump head canister (image 2) and the recirculation pipe is filled (2), thereby achieving the initial prime. This liquid ring is formed in the space between the diameter of the inlet pipe, and the outer diameter of the offset canister housing the airscrew. The resultant liquid ring creates a water seal between the airscrew hub and the top of the canister (3).

alfalaval2october2016compressedAn air column is created between the airscrew hub and the liquid ring (1). The air column is separated into air pockets by the airscrew and then forced into the impeller’s suction stage. Some of the priming liquid re-circulates over the recirculation pipe (2). Air is removed until the content is just a few percent and no pockets are generated. The pump then acts as a traditional centrifugal pump, transferring the liquid from the suction stage (4) through the discharge (5).

When there is no air present, the canister and recirculation loop have no function and are completely filled with liquid. The liquid passes through the canister into the impeller’s suction stage. Here again, the pump acts as a traditional centrifugal pump, transferring the liquid through the discharge at a higher velocity and pressure.

Summary

alfalaval3october2016compressedThe Alfa Laval LKH Prime Pump delivers:

  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Improved working environment
  • Reduced installation cost
  • And have spare parts commonality with the Alfa Laval LKH pump range making it easy to service.

Allan Bruun is Alfa Laval’s Dairy Industry Manager, responsible for the heat transfer and fluid handling business. Allan coordinates commercial and technical market intelligence between sales channels, dairies and central Alfa Laval functions seeking to optimize the customers’ processes and increase the competence level of the organization. Allan holds university degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering as well as business administration. Contact: allan.bruun@alfalaval.com.

About Alfa Laval

Alfa Laval’s worldwide organization works closely with customers in nearly 100 countries to help them stay ahead in the global arena. Alfa Laval is listed on Nasdaq OMX, and, in 2015, posted annual sales of about SEK 39.7 billion (approx.4.25 billion Euros). The company has about 17.500 employees.

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SKF Corrosion Resistant Bearings: Full Menu Option For Food Safety and Reliability

In response to the food and beverage industry’s changing needs, SKF has developed a comprehensive range of bearings meeting safety requirements, designed for reduced maintenance and long life in a wide range of production environments. Product safety is the top priority for food and drink manufacturers, consumers and regulators alike. The latest industry requirements, like the US Food Safety Modernization Act and ISO 22000, require companies to place increased emphasis on equipment and processes designed to prevent product contamination during manufacture.

Bearings used in food production machinery present multiple challenges in this context. The wide temperature variations, high humidity and chemically aggressive environments found in food production can lead to accelerated corrosion and wear. That challenge is compounded by wash-down protocols involving pressurized water jets and chemical cleaning agents. Even maintenance and bearing replacement procedures create risks of contamination from dropped parts or spilled lubricants.

The foundation of SKF’s offering is the Food Line range of deep groove ball bearings, which feature industry standard stainless steel rings, rolling elements, cages and seal backing plates. For the most demanding environments, meanwhile, the MRC Ultra corrosion resistant range uses proprietary high nitrogen corrosion resistant (HNCR) stainless steel rings and ceramic rolling elements for dramatically improved fatigue life.

As standard the bearings in both ranges are pre-lubricated with NSF in category H1 grease suitable for incidental contact in food production environments. In accordance with FDA recommendations, the synthetic rubber seals used in the bearings are coloured blue for optical detectability. In addition the SKF Food Line stainless steel deep groove ball bearing seals have EC approval.

An alternative to conventional grease lubrication is SKF’s Solid Oil technology, a polymer matrix saturated with food grade lubrication oil that keeps contaminants out and resists wash-down chemicals and water without emulsifying. Solid Oil completely fills the internal space within the bearing, encapsulating the cage and rolling elements. The resulting lack of internal voids eliminates “breathing”, where temperature changes between operation and cleaning cycles can allow conventional bearings to draw in moisture, causing corrosion. The Solid Oil matrix also contains two to four times more oil than conventional greased bearings, meaning lubricant life is extended, reducing routine maintenance requirements and a particular benefit in hard to reach areas.

SKF can use its extensive experience of the food and beverage production environment to develop custom solutions for the most demanding applications. One major ice cream producer, for example was suffering premature bearing failures in its hardening tunnels, as a result of corrosion due to moisture ingress in the bearings. The problem was exacerbated by breathing during cleaning cycles when bearing temperate rises rapidly from -45°C to +25°C.

SKF replaced the conventional bearings use in the machine’s 32 hubs with MRC HNCR units, lubricated with food grade Solid Oil and further protected by a custom machined, FDA approved optically detectable secondary seal. The new design has extended expected bearing life for the customer from one year to six[1], and eliminated the need for periodic relubrication with traditional grease, significantly reducing the risk of product contamination and also providing further productivity benefits.

Find more information on SKF’s corrosion resistant bearings for the food and beverage industry onhttp://www.skf.com/group/industry-solutions/food-and-beverage/product-news.

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Westbrook Industrial Limited – IMHX 2016 – Exhibitor Profile

ASG Services – Labelling and Safety Solutions
At ASG Services we have gained an excellent reputation for providing the most appropriate labelling and safety products to meet the specific requirements of our customers.
By providing a range of products in each of our specialist fields, we are able to provide the optimum solution for every client from one source. From our beginning nearly twenty years ago, we have been constantly developing our products and services.

Warehouse Partners – Labelling and Safety Solutions
Warehouse Partners is a unique company that provides non-core products and services direct to manufacturers and suppliers of MHE and storage solutions.
Our focus is on providing top quality products and service to make our business partners more efficient and therefore profitable – while gaining and keeping the all-important competitive edge.

At Warehouse Partners, we have gained an excellent reputation for providing the most appropriate labelling and safety products to meet the specific requirements of our customers. By supplying a range of products in each of our specialist fields, we are able to provide the optimum solution for every client from one source. From our beginning over five years ago, we have been constantly developing our solutions.

We offer a single source for products and services that reduces time and costs. By bringing together a range of products we are able to offer excellent service levels combined with the integrity that comes with a non-direct sales organisation.

IMHX is the largest meeting place for the UK’s logistics industry. Next month over 20,000 logistics and supply chain professionals will gather to evaluate cutting edge technologies, explore the latest industry solutions and discuss how to increase efficiencies within supply chain operations.

IMHX 2016 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham from 13th-16th September. Demand for stand space has been exceptional and IMHX 2016 will be the biggest and most comprehensive in the show’s history with over 400 exhibitors!

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Nestlé Investing in Product Safety

Nestlé is investing SFr30 million (€27.6 million) in the Nestlé Quality Assurance Centre (NQAC) in Dublin, Ohio, US, improving its capacity to test products and ensuring they meet the highest standards. This latest investment makes NQAC Dublin Nestlé’s largest and most sophisticated testing facility worldwide.

The centre has almost doubled in size, and allows us to test almost every Nestlé product, ingredient and manufacturing environment. Every year, Nestlé tests more than 3 million samples across the globe to ensure that the quality of our products is never compromised.

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Make the Most of Your Raw Product – Minimize Give-away and Maximize Quality

Here’s a thought – how much extra food can we produce if we optimize the production processes all the way from the harvest to the end consumer’s table? And how can we improve and enhance our businesses if we are smart and precise in every step of the process?

By handling food with care and intelligence, Cabinplant can help you get the most out of every piece of meat, fish, vegetable or the food product you are making. Cabinplant has the technology to precisely measure, cut, trim, weigh and package any food product on the market.

Weighing and Packing Solutions

Speed, flexibility and accuracy are key parameters to optimize your production economy. Cabinplant has a multitude of optional features which enable you to produce sticky and fragile products with accurate results at high speed on our weighing machines.

Total packing solutions.

Total packing solutions.

One of the recent inventions from the company is the fully automatic multi batcher. It is suitable for weighing and batching of large portions at high speed and handles portion sizes of up to 30 kg of meat or meat by-products. The accurate weighing of batch sizes reduces give-away significantly compared to other systems and improves your return on investment.

The Cabinplant multi batcher is tailor-made based on product size and batch size according to customer request and available either as a stand-alone unit for automatic or manual bagging, box packing or filling into thermoformed packages, or as part of a complete packing line.

Weighing and Packing of Sausages

Another recent development within their weighing and packing solutions is a sausage depositor. It is a fully automatic solution for alignment of portions of sausages (or similar products) in trays. The depositor is designed to operate together with a multihead weighing machine and must be installed directly above the thermoforming/tray sealing machine.

Multibatcher.

Multibatcher.

The weighed-out portions fed by the multihead weigher are dropped into a vibrating unit, where each portion is aligned. After alignment, the portions are gently discharged into trays. The sausage depositor is designed to handle various formats and multiple product layers and to minimize give-away.

From Stand-alone Machinery to Turn-key Projects

Designing food production equipment is often a question of combining various existing technologies in new and innovative ways. That is one of the core skills of Cabinplant – to meet your requirements, while applying everything they know about automation, robotics and mechanical engineering.

The people of Cabinplant use their skills and long market expertise in designing a production line which is tailor-made to your needs and specifications. Altogether, Cabinplant’s ability to provide precision weighing of all kinds of products and development of food processing technology puts you in a very strong position.

Posted in Processing, Quality AssuranceComments Off on Make the Most of Your Raw Product – Minimize Give-away and Maximize Quality

FILTEC Introduces AURAtec – Pressure Detection For Glass and Can

FILTEC has introduced the AURAtec, a new pressure detection unit for glass beverage and aluminum can containers. The AURAtec is a laser-based inspection system that detects pressure inconsistencies in glass and can containers. Using multi-point laser scanning technology, the AURAtec is able to generate 3D maps of container surfaces, detecting pressure variations with extremely high accuracy. The AURAtec accurately performs with nearly a six sigma margin detecting acceptable vs unacceptable common aluminum beverage cans.

Filtec2July2016“Beneath its compact profile, the AURAtec packs the powerful punch of a high intelligence machine,” says Leon Coetzee, VP Product Marketing at FILTEC. “The AURAtec stands out for its ability to produce powerful 3D assessments of the container’s pressure profile, at inspection speeds exceeding 1200 containers per minute. The system is not affected by container positioning variances on the X, Y, or Z axis, thus being very tolerant to normal production line conditions. The AURAtec obsoletes traditional analogue or acoustic based technologies, replacing them with an ultrahigh resolution 3D vision solution that also excels in robustness and longevity.”

The AURAtec is available immediately for purchase, with first deliveries in the fourth quarter of this year. AURAtec’s advanced pressure detection system can be used as as a stand alone inspection unit or easily integrated with existing FILTEC products. For more information visit www.filtec.com.

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FSA Urges Public to ‘Face Freezer Fears’ in a Bid to Tackle Food Waste

Misconceptions about how to freeze food safely are contributing to food waste in the UK, according to new research by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The research identified a number of freezing ‘myths’ that are preventing people from using their freezers to make food go further. 43% of those interviewed think that food should only be frozen on the day of purchase to be safe; 38% incorrectly said it is dangerous to refreeze meat after it has been cooked; and 36% wrongly believe that food can become unsafe to eat while in the freezer.

Over two thirds (68%) of the people surveyed have thrown food away in the past month, with bread (36%), fruit (31%), vegetables (31%) and leftover meals (22%) topping the list. The most common reason given for throwing food away is that it is past its ‘use by’ day, cited by over a third (36%) of respondents. 30% admit to throwing food away as they had bought too much and didn’t eat it, and over half (54%) say they feel guilty when they throw food away. However, the reasons given can all be avoided by making better use of the freezer.

In response, the FSA is focusing on helping people to understand how to waste less food safely by making more of their freezers. Furthermore, the FSA, working with Defra and WRAP, has announced that it will be launching a review of the guidance provided to the food industry on date marking on food. This will include consideration for whether the remit of the guidance should be expanded to cover food storage and freezing advice for consumers.

FSALogo2The research also found that 90% of people say there are foods they would never freeze. Almost a quarter (23%) of those surveyed would never freeze meat that was cooked after defrosting, with 73% of these people saying this is down to worries about food poisoning.

Steve Wearne, Director of Policy at the FSA, says: “Every year, we throw away seven million tonnes of food and drink from our homes. Much of this waste is unnecessary, and a better understanding of how to freeze food safely could go a significant way towards tackling the problem. Our research shows that many of the fears the public has about freezing food are unfounded and we need to ensure they know the facts. 31% of the people we spoke to said that more information about how to safely freeze food would help them to reduce their food waste.”

He adds: “The freezer is like a pause button, so you can freeze foods right up to the ‘use by’ date. While food is kept safe in the freezer, it’s the quality that deteriorates over time, so we recommend eating it within three to six months and checking for any freezing instructions on the packaging. Once defrosted, the pause button is off, so defrost food as and when you need it and eat it within 24 hours of it being fully defrosted.”

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EFSA Advises on Meat Spoilage During Storage and Transport

EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has assessed the impact of time and temperature on the growth of spoilage bacteria in fresh beef, pork, lamb and poultry. Its experts used predictive models to compare the growth of spoilage bacteria with the growth of disease-causing (pathogenic) bacteria and concluded that spoilage bacteria grow faster under the same conditions.

EFSA had previously advised on the implications for meat safety if these two parameters – time and temperature – varied and provided several scenarios for ensuring safety of meat during storage and transport of meat. The Commission subsequently asked EFSA to consider what implications such scenarios would have for the growth of bacteria that cause meat to spoil.

“If the sole consideration was safety, policy makers would have more options on the table to pick from. However, scenarios that are acceptable in terms of safety may not be acceptable in terms of quality,” says Dr Marta Hugas, Head of EFSA’s Biological Hazards and Contaminants unit.

Current legislation requires that carcasses are chilled to no more than 7C and that this temperature is maintained until mincing. The European Commission wants to revise this legislation to provide industry with more flexibility and asked EFSA’s scientific advice on safety and quality aspects.

Experts also said that effective hygienic measures during slaughter and processing help control contamination with spoilage bacteria.

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Fruit Stays Fresh For Longer in Corrugated Trays

Corrugated trays keep fruit fresher and safer than reusable plastic crates (RPCs) and can significantly reduce contamination from pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms, according to scientific research. The research by the University of Bologna found that corrugated trays ensured better quality packed fruits and a longer shelf-life, reducing fruit microbial cross contamination. This decreases the risk of food-borne illnesses and increases fruit shelf life, contributing to the fruit’s freshness, scent, appearance and taste.

Microbiological contamination of fruit and vegetables is a major concern for retailers. Contamination can have two characteristic effects. In case of pathogen bacteria, food safety is at risk. In the case of spoilage bacteria, it will have an impact on shelf life. In both cases, the role of packaging can be critical.

The research was led by Professor Rosalba Lanciotti at the University of Bologna’s Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences. It looked at the exchange of microbes between produce and packaging and vice versa. The study was particularly interested in how differences in packaging materials can influence the cross contamination.

The results revealed statistically significant differences in the microbiological quality between produce packed in (RPCs) and corrugated trays.

The researchers packed peaches in deliberately contaminated packaging, both corrugated trays and RPCs, with the same number of Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pseudomonas spp. and they then measured the transfer of the microorganisms to packaged fruit. The tests showed that the fruit reached contamination levels generally associated to fruit spoilage 48 to 72 hours earlier in plastic crates than in corrugated trays.

All peaches were washed with tap water, then sterilised with a sodium solution, rinsed with sterilised water and then air dried before entering the tests. Contributing factors such as the temperature during storage, the length of time before sale, and the superficial damage on each peach were also taken into consideration. The results of the tests showed that all of them influenced the microbial transfer from packaging material to fruit, but the transferring of the spoilage microorganisms considered was always lower for corrugated trays.

The tests also showed that in some conditions during the trials (i.e. high storage temperature) up to 95% of the peaches packed in RPCs were contaminated with E. coli after 48 hours when packaged in deliberately contaminated plastic crates. By contrast, the E. coli contamination level never exceeded 25% of the peaches packed in corrugated contaminated with the same levels of microorganisms.

The tests enabled Professor Lanciotti and her team (mainly Dr Francesca Patrignani, and Dr Lorenzo Siroli) to conclude that peaches packed in corrugated reach consumers in a safer and fresher state than those in plastic crates.

Jan Gramsma, FEFCO’s Market and Environment Director, says the tests were just one of the many confirmations that corrugated is cleaner and safer. “When it comes to preventing microbiological contamination, the science is in no doubt: corrugated board is far superior to RPC,” he points out. “Both the European Food Safety Agency and the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention say fresh produce can be a source of contamination leading to foodborne Illnesses. Until now, we did not have undeniable proof that packaging was a factor. Our message to retailers is simple and clear: corrugated keeps produce fresh and safe.”

The research comes as other concerns have been raised recently over the hygiene of RPCs. Last November, the Department of Food Science at the University of Arkansas showed that typical industry cleaning procedures failed to sanitise RPCs. The research team led by Dr Steven Ricke found Salmonella cells on the crates even after cleaning. He noted that bacteria hide in the cracks and crevices of the crate’s surface, making it harder for industrial sanitisers to reach them. Dr Ricke said industry claims that crates are “99.5%” clean after sanitisation sound impressive, but that the missing 0.5% could hold millions of cells.

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Labcell Supplies Decagon Devices AquaLab 4TE Water Activity Analysers to McVitie’s

Labcell has supplied five Decagon Devices AquaLab 4TE water activity analysers to McVitie’s Cake Company for end-of-line quality assurance of Chocolate Cake, Jamaica Ginger Cake, Lyle’s Golden Syrup Cake and other products from the McVitie’s range of cakes. These five AquaLab Series 4TE analysers replace earlier models of AquaLab that have been in use for over 20 years.

Upgrading to the newer models with temperature equilibration has benefited McVitie’s through more stable measurements, plus the improved data handling means readings can be tracked easily and the information can be downloaded, stored andanalysed. With the instruments being used hourly on four different lines, a great deal of data is generated and improved data management is a significant advantage for traceability and specification reviews. Because batches of cakes cannot be released unless satisfactory water activity measurements have been obtained, a fifth analyser is retained as a spare to avoid delays.

Water activity influences a cake’s taste, texture and shelf life, but the most important reason for McVitie’s using AquaLabanalysers is to ensure the safety of its cakes because maintaining water activity below a critical limit inhibits bacterial growth. One of the key features of the AquaLab 4TE is that it makes laboratory-grade measurements in five minutes or less, yet it is robust enough to be installed and operated in a production environment. For McVitie’s, this means batches of cakes can be tested and released very quickly.

When McVitie’s decided to replace its existing AquaLab analysers, the company considered the track record of over 20 years of reliable operation, backed up by first-class support from Labcell, and did not hesitate to request a quote for five new AquaLab Series 4TE analysers. The price was felt to be very fair for high-quality, accurate and fast instruments that are easy to use, easy to clean and, most importantly, ensure the safety of the cakes being tested. In fact the operators have already remarked on the AquaLab Series 4TE’s improved ease of use and cleaning compared with the older model.

During the quotation stage of the project, Labcell provided full support to McVitie’s, answering questions and making sure the McVitie’s staff were entirely happy with the quotation and the AquaLab Series 4TE. When the analysers were delivered, Labcell’s specialist visited McVitie’s and spent a day ensuring that operatives on all four production lines knew how to use theanalysers, answering questions about operation, calibration, cleaning and data management.

Lynda Wilczynski, a QA Technologist with McVitie’s Cake Company, comments: “Labcell have been very helpful from start to finish, they have answered every question we have asked, and support for the manufacturing side was excellent – they could not do enough for us. I would recommend Labcell and their products.”

Labcell is the sole UK distributor for the Decagon Devices AquaLab Series 4TE water activity analyser. Customers interested in upgrading from another model of AquaLab analyser should contact Labcell to ask about trade-in options. Contact Labcell for more information about the AquaLab 4TE or to request a demonstration by telephoning 01420 568150, emailingmail@labcell.com or go to www.labcell.com.

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New ISO Standard to Validate Microorganism Testing Methods For the Food Industry

By Sandrine Tranchard

Having access to safe and nutritious food is essential. Meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, shellfish, etc., contain significant microbial flora and this can affect our health. Therefore, it is important to identify the microorganisms to maintain food safety but the microbial flora can also affect, if not controlled, the quality of food and its shelf life. Whether you are a manufacturer or user of microbiological test methods, you want to ensure that your methods are fully tested, validated and fit for use.

ISO 16140:2003 for the validation of alternative (proprietary) microbiological methods has just been revised. The new multipart standard provides a specific protocol and guidelines for the validation of methods both proprietary (commercial) or not. Proprietary methods are generally cheaper to use, produce results faster than traditional culturing methods and are simpler to perform as they require fewer technical skills. What’s more, most are partly or completely automated, so easier to use in less experienced laboratories, such as factory and commercial laboratories and with less technical human resources.

Two Parts of ISO 16140 Series Now Published

ISO 16140-1:2016Microbiology of the food chain – Method validation – Part 1: Vocabulary, describes the terminology used in microbial testing, while ISO 16140-2:2016Microbiology of the food chain – Method validation – Part 2: Protocol for the validation of alternative (proprietary) methods against a reference method, is dedicated to the validation of proprietary microbiological methodsThey are designed to help food and feed testing laboratories, test kit manufacturers, competent authorities, and food and feed business operators to implement microbiological methods. ISO 16140-2 includes two phases, the method comparison study and the interlaboratory study, with separate protocols for the validation of qualitative and quantitative microbiological methods.

New Validation Insights Included

Over a hundred alternative methods have been validated based on the previous version of ISO 16140, and the standard was updated to provide new insights on the validation of microbiological methods and experience gained from conducting validation studies across the world. Today, many alternative (mostly proprietary) methods exist that are used to assess the microbiological quality of raw materials and finished food products and monitor the microbiological status of manufacturing processes. The developers, end-users and authorities need a reliable common protocol for the validation of such alternative methods. With this new protocol, the data generated will also provide potential end-users with performance data for a given method, thus enabling them to make an informed choice on the adoption of a particular (alternative) method. This data can also serve as a basis for the certification of a method by an independent organization.

Development of ISO 16140 Series

“The validation according to ISO 16140-2 will lead to a higher reliability of the alternative method test result and the users will benefit from having microbiological test results available sooner. Most likely, this will contribute to greater food safety,” explained Paul in ‘t Veld, the Convenor of Working Group 3 on method validation (ISO/TC 34/SC 9/WG 3 whose secretariat is held by NEN, ISO member for the Netherlands) that is responsible for the development of the ISO 16140 seriesThe other four new parts of ISO 16140 are still under development with the following topics:

  • Protocol for the verification of reference and validated alternative methods implemented in a single laboratory (Part 3 of ISO 16140)
  • Protocol for single-laboratory (in-house) method validation (Part 4 of ISO 16140)
  • Protocol for factorial interlaboratory validation for non-proprietary methods (Part 5 of ISO 16140)
  • Protocol for the validation of alternative (proprietary) methods for microbiological confirmation and typing (Part 6 of ISO 16140)

WG 3, Method validation, is part of the subcommittee ISO/TC 34/SC 9, Food products – Microbiology, whose secretariat is held by AFNOR, ISO member for France. The standard is available from your national ISO member or on the ISO Store.

 

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Nearly 20,000 UK Restaurants Risk Losing Customers Due to Poor Food Hygiene

Restaurants with low food hygiene ratings are risking their survival, with 61% of consumers saying they’ll boycott such establishments, according to research from Checkit (http://www.checkit.net/). 18,379 restaurants, takeaways, sandwich/coffee shops, hotels and pubs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are at risk, as they currently have a Food Standards Agency Food Hygiene Rating of two or below, meaning they require improvement to their practices and processes.

The study, carried out by food safety technology company Checkit, found that London is the city with the largest number of food businesses at risk (5,092), while Birmingham has the highest percentage (17%) of restaurants scoring two or below. It is followed by Leicester (14%), London (14%) and Manchester (11%). Overall, 7% of cafes, canteens, restaurants, mobile caterers, pubs, takeaways, sandwich shops and hotels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland fail to meet the hygiene standards that consumers demand.

Across the UK takeaways and sandwich shops are the sector in most danger of being shunned by diners, with 14% of themhaving a food hygiene rating of two or below. This figure rises to 28% of Birmingham and Manchester takeaways, and over half (52%) of those in the London borough of Newham. Given that 64% of consumers say they’d avoid takeaways with low food hygiene ratings, this will have a major impact on the sector’s revenues and individual business survival.

Also in the Checkit research, three quarters (75%) of consumers said they wouldn’t risk dining at a restaurant that had been implicated in a food hygiene incident, even if recommended by someone that they trust. Customers would even 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 a restaurant. Just 16% cited slow or poor service and 32% said rude or unhelpful staff would stop them coming back to a restaurant.

“The food business is incredibly competitive, with nearly 60% of restaurants failing in their first three years of operation,” says David Davies, Managing Director, Checkit. “Our research shows that good food hygiene is the number one factor in wherediners choose to eat – and that they simply won’t return to places where there has been a food hygiene incident. Yet ouranalysis finds that nearly 20,000 restaurants require improvement to meet basic Food Standards Agency standards. Owners of food businesses are risking their revenues and survival, as well as the health of their customers, by not taking hygiene seriously.”

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BCGA Shares ‘Invisible Industry’ Expertise With Food and Drink Processing Industry

The food and drink industry can now access a range of guidance following moves by national trade body The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) to increase awareness and reinforce safety standards.

The UK membership body has now made its extensive catalogue of information available for free download under the ‘publications’ tab on the BCGA website www.bcga.co.uk

Previously a charge was made to access much of the guidance, which includes codes of practice, guidance notes, technical reports and technical information sheets. Leaflets, safety alerts and industry information can also be found in this area of the website.

The move is part of an ongoing drive by the BCGA to increase awareness of compressed gases and share industry best practice.

The BCGA website includes a wide range of information relating to the food and drink processing sector.

Doug Thornton, Chief Executive of the BCGA, says: “The compressed gases sector is the UK’s ‘invisible industry,’ with food and drink gases, as well as industrial and medical gases, playing a critical role in many aspects of life, underpinning a safe, successful and healthy nation. Members of BCGA operate in a highly-regulated industry and work together on technical, safety, health and environmental issues to achieve high standards of integrity and environmental care, both within their own and customers’ working environments.”

He adds: “As a result of this approach, over the years we’ve built up a wide-range of information that is useful to those with responsibility for food and drink environments and is regularly updated. BCGA’s mission is to ensure safety in the use, storage, transportation and handling of compressed gases. Our respected publications are key to that and significant resources are deployed to bring each of our publications together. By making access to all this information easier than ever we are taking a significant step in sharing the thought leadership, expertise and knowledge of BCGA in handling and influencing safety.”

As well as its publications, BCGA also actively promotes safety practice through its participation in the preparation and revision of National, European and International Standards. For further information visit www.bcga.co.uk.

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TOMRA Launches New Russian Website and Video Platform

TOMRA Sorting Food has announced the launch of its Russian language website, which will provide a dynamic online resource for its customers across Russia.

The launch of the website, which can be found at www.tomra.com/ru/food, further demonstrates the importance of the region to TOMRA’s global business strategy and has been specifically customized for the requirements for Russia’s food sorting industry.

The new website provides visitors with an insight into TOMRA’s product innovations, latest news and event updates. As well as this, product brochures can also be downloaded at the touch of a button via the site’s online download center.

Björn Weyts, Marketing Manager at TOMRA Sorting Food, says: “The launch of the Russian language site provides a valuable update to the wide range of international resources that TOMRA offers as well as highlighting our ongoing commitment to servicing customers across the world and our continuous focus on innovation.”

Alongside the launch of the Russian language website, TOMRA has also revealed its easily accessible new video platform which hosts over 200 videos, allowing users to browse, share and embed videos produced by TOMRA.

Björn Weyts explains: “The functionality of the platforms provides users with the fantastic option to be notified when new content is added to the platform as well as being able to pick and choose topics that are of a particular interest, ensuring users receive relevant and up-to-date information.”

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Dawn Meats Produces Billionth Irish Beef Burger For McDonald’s

Irish group Dawn Meats has produced its billionth beef burger at its production site at Carroll’s Cross in Waterford, which was opened in June 2012, for casual dining giant McDonald’s. The plant now produces more than 400 million beef burgers per year for McDonald’s with product destined for markets in Ireland, the UK and Continental Europe.

The achievement was celebrated with McDonald’s Ireland following a visit by McDonald’s Director of Development and Supply Chain Nigel McGuire to the Dawn Meats production site at Carroll’s Cross. More than 50 Dawn Meats staff were congratulated on reaching this important milestone and for their on-going commitment to sustainability and continuous improvement.

Nigel McGuire comments: “McDonald’s is a committed supporter of the Irish agri-business sector and we’re proud of the strength of our relationship with Dawn Meats, which has led to one in every five burgers sold in McDonald’s restaurants across Europe being of Irish origin. McDonald’s adds nothing but salt and pepper to its burgers and the team at Dawn Meats have consistently helped us to deliver great tasting products to our customers.”

All of the burgers produced for McDonald’s are made with whole cuts of 100% Irish beef and sourced through the Dawn Meats network of accredited farms across Ireland, guaranteeing a closed loop supply of quality assured beef. McDonald’s is the single largest purchaser of Irish beef by volume, purchasing approximately 40,000 tonnes of Irish beef annually.

Dawn Meats Group Commercial Director Richard Clinton says: “We are delighted with the progress achieved with McDonald’s to date and we are on target to achieve our ambition to produce one beef burger per year for every person in the EU. Active collaboration with McDonald’s across a number of disciplines has resulted in the gains made to date and we look forward to further progress in the years ahead as the McDonald’s global business grows.”

As verified members of Origin Green, Dawn Meats process 100% Quality Assured Irish beef on behalf of McDonald’s sourced directly from Irish farmers who are members of the Bord Bia’s Beef Quality Assurance scheme. The plant now sources 100% of its electricity needs from renewable sources including solar and wind powered public lighting, with all waste water treated through an integrated constructed wetland. More than 65% of all waste is recycled and all waste has been diverted from landfill.

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Belgian Researchers Check Quality of Chocolate With Ultrasound

The quality of Belgium’s famous chocolate largely depends on the crystals that form during the hardening of the chocolate. Researchers from KU Leuven, Belgium, have now developed a new and quicker way to check whether the cocoa butter is crystallising correctly during the hardening process. The method could save the chocolate industry a lot of time and money.

Belgian chocolate is a world-famous delight. But producing a delicious bar of chocolate that has a beautiful gloss, makes that wonderful sound when you break it, melts in your mouth, and maintains all these qualities throughout its entire shelf life, is not easy. The crystallisation of the cocoa butter – the fat in the chocolate – plays an important role in that process.

Professor Imogen Foubert from the KU Leuven Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems explains: “Cocoa butter crystallises as the liquid chocolate hardens. Five types of crystals can be formed during this process, but only one of these has the qualities we want. The number, size, shape, and the way in which the crystals stick together play an important role as well.” It is therefore crucial to monitor the crystallisation of the cocoa butter closely during the chocolate production process, because we don’t want inferior chocolate ending up on shop shelves.”

“We’ve discovered that we can detect differences in the crystallisation of cocoa butter with ultrasonic waves,” adds Professor Koen Van Den Abeele from the KU Leuven Department of Physics and Astronomy. The new technique involves sending transversal ultrasonic waves through the cocoa butter. The researchers then measure the reflection of these waves for information about the structure of the butter. The technique is similar to the ultrasound echography used to monitor the health and growth of foetuses in the womb.

Chocolate manufacturers currently check the quality of their chocolate ‘offline’. A sample is taken from the production line to be analysed in a lab. This method is very time-consuming, making it impossible to intervene quickly when something is wrong. As a result, a large amount of chocolate is destroyed or re-processed – a costly affair. The novel technique can be used ‘online’ to check the chocolate while it is still on the production line.

The researchers designed a lab prototype, which now needs to be turned into a prototype for use in real chocolate production lines. The current results were obtained with cocoa butter and need to be confirmed for actual chocolate.

The findings are the result of Annelien Rigolle’s interdisciplinary doctoral research, supervised by Professor Imogen Foubert , who specialises in fat crystallisation, and Professor Koen Van Den Abeele, who is an expert in the use of ultrasound for non-destructive testing of materials such as composites, metals, and concrete.

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Hygienic Building Protection

In food and drink factories, hygiene is an important factor when manufacturing, processing, packaging and distributing quality products. It is imperative that the construction of the factory will not impede production or fail due to impact or wear.

With light and heavy equipment and machinery travelling throughout the premises there is chance of collisions into the walls, columns or doors ways, or in worst cases the operatives working in the factory. The aesthetics of the building will therefore significantly decrease if there isn’t sufficient protection in place.

Aspen Stainless have previously worked with a well-known food processing company to improve the construction of their new factory. From the stainless steel range, Aspen installed their wall kerb, bump rail, guard rail and wall cladding.

The wall kerbing was fully welded in place and had its welds ground down to leave a smooth, seamless finish. The top and bottom of the kerb was then sealed with a resin compound, providing a completely sealed surface between the walls and floor.

CanalEngineering2June2016For added protection, low level bump rail was installed in front of the wall kerb to protect the main construction of the factory from vehicles and other collisions.

In the food production areas, high level guard rail was installed to protect the walls and columns from the food racking trollies, which also doubled up as a storage location for the racking when it was not in use.

With strict demands for hygienic plant and equipment in all food and drink industries, Aspen has the ability to provide a tailored product package to meet your specialist requirements using its range of drainage, wall kerbing, and protection.

Browse the product range online, which has full technical data available to download or discuss your bespoke requirements with the Aspen technical team; +44 (0)115 986 6321, www.aspen.eu.com.

Posted in Hygiene, ProcessingComments Off on Hygienic Building Protection

FSA Publishes Latest Campylobacter Results

The UK Food Standards Agency has published the latest results from its survey of campylobacter on fresh shop-bought chickens. The results for January to March 2016 continue to show a decrease both in the number of birds with campylobacter on them and those with the highest level of contamination from the equivalent quarter last year.

The latest data show 9.3% of chickens tested positive for the highest level of contamination in this quarter, down from 21.8% for the three months from December 2014 to February 2015. Campylobacter was present on 50% of chicken samples, down from 71% in the equivalent quarter of the previous year. We tested 1,009 samples of fresh whole chilled UK-produced chickens and packaging this quarter.

Steve Wearne, Director of Policy at the FSA, comments: “These results are moving in the right direction and I am delighted with progress. It shows what can be done by a real commitment to tackle this bug and I am encouraging industry to go even further, more quickly, to continue to get the numbers down.”

He adds: “One of the reasons the survey results are lower this quarter is because of the decision taken by a number of retailers and their suppliers to remove neck skin from the bird before it goes on sale. This is good news for the consumer because the neck skin is the most contaminated part of the chicken. However it is also the part of the bird that we have been testing in our survey and this means that comparisons with previous results are not as reliable as we would like.”

For this quarter, the FSA is giving an overall figure for the amount of campylobacter on chicken and not breaking the figures down by retailer as it normally does.

Posted in Food Safety, Quality AssuranceComments Off on FSA Publishes Latest Campylobacter Results

Safety Under Foot With Resin Flooring

Efficiency and safety under foot in a food factory is high priority when it comes to deciding a new floor. In addition, various types of daily traffic travels through the processing and packaging areas making it imperative for the flooring to be durable.

John Lord were commissioned to manufacture and install a suitable flooring for a well-known food factory, which had different requirements from room to room. In the processing areas the factory required a high anti-slip flooring grade for maximum safety under foot during their cleaning regimes and if any spillages occurred. In the packaging areas the factory required a smoother but durable floor surface than the processing areas, which allowed trolleys, crates and pallet trucks to move easily over while transporting the snack food product.

JohnLord2June2016The factory wanted to divide the processing and packaging areas, and create walkways around the factory to safely guide pedestrian traffic around the facility and importantly away from the machinery and operating areas. John Lord provided the factory with a range of bespoke colours to choose from to highlight these areas. The factory opted for a buff-yellow, green and terracotta, which created definition and reflected their company brand colours.

John Lord has a range of exclusive resin flooring products to suit your environment. For the food and drink industry, the Uragard polyurethane resin range is the recommended flooring option. Uragard provides excellent durability, cleanability, chemical and temperature resistance and has varying grades of slip resistance to suit your traffic requirements.

‘Specify Your Own Floor’ online to find the most suitable flooring system for your industry or contact John Lord’s technical flooring team to discuss your requirements and receive expert recommendations – +44 (0)115 986 6321, www.john-lord.com.

Posted in Health & Safety, Hygiene, ProcessingComments Off on Safety Under Foot With Resin Flooring

Modern Technology Used to Show Modern Technology

SPX FLOW now offers a virtual reality experience for its customers to explore solutions in different industrial settings. Users can tour sites that may be of interest to them and review where and how SPX FLOW’s state of the art technology can help to optimize plant efficiency and final product quality.

The new virtual reality app from SPX FLOW gives users a new experience and way to view where and how its technology is used. The first industry available shows users a craft brewery site.

SPXFLOWLogoJune2016Users enter the processing plant and are guided by an audio description of where they are and what is available to view. In the craft brewery, which is a rapidly growing industry, they can see a pneumatic butterfly valve, a Seital centrifugal separator and latest EcoPure pumps that use high powered magnets to ensure efficient, reliable and safe hygienic pumping. If any of the technologies are selected, the app takes the user through a video and audio explanation of how the technology operates.

The app works by using augmented reality, allowing the user a direct view and focus, on different parts of the plant as the user physically turns around. It also links to further videos and information about products available on YouTube where customers can learn more details about the benefits of these technologies and how the solutions can help with their particular application.

Scott Dillner, Director, Marketing Services at SPX FLOW, comments: “We are always looking for ways to engage and inform our customers about our solutions. We have selected this virtual reality format so that customers can see equipment installed in situ and get a real flavor of how it fits into the wider plant.”

The new SPX FLOW Virtual Reality app is available for both Androids and iPhones and can be downloaded from App stores onto mobile devices. This exciting new experience reflects SPX FLOW’s forward looking attitude both in process technology and customer service to best meet its customers’ needs.

For further information or to download the app please visit www.spxflow.com/en/apv/downloads/smartphone%20apps or simply type SPX FLOW into your device’s App store.

Posted in Processing, Quality AssuranceComments Off on Modern Technology Used to Show Modern Technology

Scientific Evidence Proves Mechanically Butchered Meat ‘is Meat’

Following a landmark High Court ruling, Leatherhead Food Research says that more sophisticated analysis is required for meat harvested using advanced mechanical butchery technologies. Microscopy performed by Leatherhead Food Research was pivotal to the recent case which ruled in favour of meat processor Newby Foods. Leatherhead was called to act as an expert witness, being the UK’s only UKAS accredited laboratory for muscle fibre structure analysis to determine the quality of mechanically separated meat.

Leatherhead’s analysis demonstrated that the muscle fibre structure of chicken and pork harvested via Newby Foods’ unique process was consistent with ‘fresh meat’.  This led the judge to conclude that the meat was not mechanically separated meat, enabling it to contribute to the labelled meat content of end products.

The performance of butchery machines is improving, and in some cases this enables residual meat to be harvested with little damage to the muscle structure. Such developments play a vital role in the food industry, enhancing cost-effectiveness, reducing food waste and safeguarding the environment which is fundamental to European Legislation.

Newby Foods’ Managing Director Graham Bishop says: “The ‘Leatherhead method’ of analysis was directly referred to by Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart in the final ruling. It proved beyond doubt that our meat has the properties of standard fresh meat, not mechanically separated meat.”

Head of Microscopy at Leatherhead Food Research, Professor Kathy Groves, handled the Newby Foods project. She explains: “Our evaluation of Newby Foods’ samples involved detailed microstructural analysis. In all cases, the muscle fibre structures were almost completely intact, just as you would expect to see with fresh meat. The technique we used could enhance food manufacturers’ incoming quality inspections for products where the inclusion of mechanically butchered meat is acceptable, but mechanically separated meat is not.”

The Newby Foods case underlines the complexity of contemporary meat processing and classification. Food manufacturers need to consider many conflicting factors when developing meat products. To help the industry navigate these intricacies, Leatherhead has launched a White Paper: How much meat is in your sausage? Giving practical guidance on how manufacturers can balance regulatory requirements, cost implications and the consumer sensory experience, it is available to download at http://bit.ly/1SUCu5L.

Posted in Processing, Quality AssuranceComments Off on Scientific Evidence Proves Mechanically Butchered Meat ‘is Meat’

Double Helping of Success For Total Foodservice

Lancashire and Yorkshire-based catering wholesaler Total Foodservice has secured two internationally recognised health and safety accolades.

For the sixth year running, the firm joins 500 businesses across the globe in receiving an International Safety Award from the British Safety Council (BSC) for demonstrating commitment and determination to prevent workplace injuries and work-related ill health. Total Foodservice was awarded five stars in its Safety Council Audit.

Paul Nowell, operations and health and safety director of Total Foodservice, says: “Five stars is a huge accomplishment, especially for a smaller local business like ours. We’re extremely proud. All staff at Total Foodservice take responsibility for health and safety in the workplace.”

Alex Botha, chief executive of the British Safety Council, comments: “The success criteria for our International Safety Awards is challenging and reflects the importance of ensuring risks of injury and ill health in the workplace are properly controlled. We are proud of our association with Total Foodservice and its commitment to keeping its employees and workplaces healthy and safe.”

The second accolade for Total Foodservice is a prestigious Occupational Health and Safety Silver Award from RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) – the third time Total Foodservice has won this award.

The RoSPA award will be presented at a ceremony at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel, on July 13, 2016, as the event marks 60 years of presenting highly-regarded and sought after accolades to businesses and organisations which have shown commitment to accident and ill-health prevention.

Total Foodservice is a fifth generation family business serving the North of England with frozen, chilled and ambient foods as well as non-food and cleaning products. It operates from two depots, based in Huddersfield in West Yorkshire and Clitheroe in Lancashire. It is a member of Fairway Foodservice, a buying group made up of 17 independent wholesalers from across the UK, Ireland and Spain.

CAPTION:

Pictured (left to right): Peter Kozlowski, operations and facilities manager, Total Foodservice; Mike Robinson, chief executive, British Safety Council; Katie Cuerden, finance director, Total Foodservice; and Paul Nowell, operations and health & safety director, Total Foodservice.

Posted in Health & SafetyComments Off on Double Helping of Success For Total Foodservice

Call For Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling of Meat and Milk

Country of origin labelling should be made mandatory for meat and milk, MEPs have reiterate once again in a non-binding resolution. Mandatory labelling would help improve consumer confidence in food products by making the food supply chain more transparent, they say.

Labels stating the country of origin or place of provenance should be made mandatory for all kinds of drinking milk, dairy products and meat products, say MEPs, adding that the EU Commission and member states should also consider extending it to other single-ingredient foods, or those with one main ingredient.

To better inform EU consumers, in the wake of the horse meat scandal and other food fraud cases, and improve transparency throughout the food chain, country of origin labelling should also be made mandatory for meat in processed foods, says the text, approved by 422 votes to 159, with 68 abstentions.

MEPs point out that:

* 84% of EU citizens consider it necessary to indicate the origin of milk (2013 Eurobarometer survey),

* 88% consider such labelling necessary for meat (other than beef, swine, sheep, goat and poultry meat, which are already covered), and

* more than 90% consider such labelling important for processed foods (2013 European Commission report).

They note that the Commission’s report found that the operating costs of making country of origin labelling mandatory for the meats under its remit would be ‘relatively minor’.

The European Parliament has voted several resolutions on country of origin labelling. In its resolution of 11 February 2015 on meat in processed foods, Parliament urged the Commission to come up with legislative proposals to make labelling the origin of meat in processed foods mandatory, in order to ensure greater transparency throughout the food chain and to better inform European consumers. However, the Commission has yet to make any such proposals, citing the costs of mandatory country of origin labelling to industry and predicting that consumers would not be willing to meet the additional costs.

Posted in Ingredients, Packaging, Quality AssuranceComments Off on Call For Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling of Meat and Milk

MEPs Call For Strong Traceability System to Tackle Mislabelled Fish

A strong traceability system for all fishery products sold in EU restaurants and shops would help to prevent cases of mislabelling, said MEPs in a recent approved resolution. A sound EU fish labelling policy would in turn boost consumer confidence and the economic development of the EU fishing industry.

MEPs have voiced concern about various studies showing significant levels of mislabelling of fish products sold on the EU market and are calling on EU member states to step up national checks, including on non-processed fish supplied to restaurants and the catering sector, in order to tackle fraud and to identify the stage in the supply chain at which fish is mislabelled.

The non-legislative resolution was approved by a show of hands.

The European Parliament advocates creating a strong traceability system, from landing to consumption, which would give consumers confidence and strengthen the EU market. MEPs are calling on the European Commission to exploit the potential of DNA barcoding to help identify species.

Parliament is asking the Commission to assess the benefits of setting up an EU-wide labelling system which would need to ensure transparency and credibility of the certification process and provide understandable, verifiable and accurate information.

A sound European labelling policy in the fisheries sector would be a key factor in boosting the economic development of coastal communities, recognizing the best practices of fishermen and underlining the quality of their products supplied to consumers, says the text.

Parliament is calling on the Commission to remedy the confusion caused by the current EU labelling requirements, based on UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) areas and sub-areas, whereby fish caught off Galicia and the in Gulf of Cádiz are labelled as being from ‘Portuguese Waters’ those caught off Wales as from the ‘Irish Sea’ and those caught off Brittany as ‘Bay of Biscay’.

The Commission’s 2015 EU control plan assessing the prevalence on the market of mislabelled white fish with regard to its declared species found that the declared species was confirmed in 94% of the samples taken. However, for certain species, non-compliance levels were very high. The rate of 6% is considered relatively low compared to the findings of other more limited studies in member states.

Posted in Quality Assurance, RegulationsComments Off on MEPs Call For Strong Traceability System to Tackle Mislabelled Fish

Process Contaminants in Vegetable Oils and Foods

Glycerol-based process contaminants found in palm oil, but also in other vegetable oils, margarines and some processed foods, raise potential health concerns for average consumers of these foods in all young age groups, and for high consumers in all age groups.

EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) assessed the risks for public health of the substances: glycidyl fatty acid esters (GE), 3-monochloropropanediol (3-MCPD), and 2-monochloropropanediol (2-MCPD) and their fatty acid esters. The substances form during food processing, in particular, when refining vegetable oils at high temperatures (approx. 200°C).

The highest levels of GE, as well as 3-MCPD and 2-MCPD (including esters) were found in palm oils and palm fats, followed by other oils and fats. For consumers aged three and above, margarines and ‘pastries and cakes’ were the main sources of exposure to all substances.

Glycidyl Fatty Acid Esters – Genotoxic and Carcinogenic

EFSA’s expert Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) considered information on the toxicity of glycidol (the parent compound of GE) for its risk assessment of GE, assuming a complete conversion of the esters into glycidol following ingestion.

Dr Helle Knutsen, Chair of the CONTAM Panel, says: “There is sufficient evidence that glycidol is genotoxic and carcinogenic, therefore the CONTAM Panel did not set a safe level for GE.”

When assessing genotoxic and carcinogenic substances that are unintentionally present in the food chain, EFSA calculates a ‘margin of exposure’ for consumers. In general, the higher the margin of exposure is, the lower the level of concern for consumers.

The Panel concluded that GE is a potential health concern for all younger age groups with average exposures, and for consumers with high exposure in all age groups.

“The exposure to GE of babies consuming solely infant formula is a particular concern as this is up to ten times what would be considered of low concern for public health,” says Dr Knutsen.

The Panel’s review revealed that levels of GE in palm oils and fats halved between 2010 and 2015, due to voluntary measures taken by producers. This has contributed to an important fall in consumer exposure to these substances.

Exposure to 3-MCPD Over Safe Level – Insufficient Data on 2-MCPD

“We have set a tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.8 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day (µg/kg bw/day) for 3-MCPD and its fatty acid esters based on evidence linking this substance to organ damage in animal tests,” explains Dr Knutsen. She adds that, “the toxicological information is too limited, however, to set a safe level for 2-MCPD.”

Estimated average and high exposures to 3-MCPD from both forms for young age groups including adolescents (up to 18 years of age) exceed the TDI and are a potential concern for health.

Palm oil is a major contributor to 3-MCPD and 2-MCPD exposure for most individuals. Levels of 3-MCPD and its fatty acid esters in vegetable oils were largely unchanged over the last five years.

What Happens Next?

This risk assessment will inform risk managers in the European Commission and Member States who regulate EU food safety. They will use EFSA’s scientific advice to consider how to manage the potential risks for consumers from exposure to these substances in food. The Panel has also made several recommendations for further research to fill data gaps and improve the knowledge on the toxicity of these substances, particularly 2-MCPD, and on consumer exposure to them through food.

Posted in Food Safety, Quality Assurance, ResearchComments Off on Process Contaminants in Vegetable Oils and Foods

No Flies on Rentokil – Innovative Trap Designed to Combat Pesky Flies at Commercial Food Premises

Rentokil has launched its latest innovation in pest management – the Rentokil Fly Box. Designed to be installed in or outside commercial food premises, the box contains a mixture of pheromones and insecticide to attract and eliminate flies from waste and refuge areas.

The Rentokil Fly Box’s unique design is underpinned by research from Rentokil’s Global Science Centre, which revealed that flies are attracted to areas of high colour contrast. Trialling several colour combinations, scientists found the contrast between black and white to be most effective, with 90% of flies migrating to a black box when set against a white background. Beyond attracting flies visually, the Rentokil Fly Box contains a mixture of appealing sugar-rich foods and lethal insecticide, which will extinguish most flies on entry. The box also replicates the pheromones produced by other flies to entice them.

Flies pose significant hygiene and reputational risks to food retailers and manufacturers. Their presence is off-putting to customers, and they are one of the most common causes of food poisoning, particularly the salmonella infection. To avoid falling foul of flies, food retailers and manufactures should have a comprehensive pest strategy in place, with numerous lines of defence. The new Rentokil Fly Box provides a business’ first line of defence, combatting flies before they even enter the premises.

Dr Colm Moore, Area Technical Manager UK, Ireland and The Baltics, describes the Rentokil Fly Box’s benefits: “Previously fly treatments for refuse areas have relied on insecticide sprays. The problem with this method is that removing the waste ends the treatment. The Rentokil Fly Box enables us to effectively fix insecticide to commonly affected areas, ensuring that flies are constantly being eradicated. Businesses will save money through reduced infestations, while ensuring their reputation for impeccable hygiene remains intact.”

Dr Moore continues: “It is vital that food manufacturers, retailers and restaurateurs take appropriate due diligence when it comes to flies. Typically, we see significant increases in fly populations during the summer months, as they enter the most prolific period of their breeding cycle. This year we can expect to see larger increases, and earlier, as we have had very little cold weather, which suppresses breeding activity and fly populations.”

“While the presence of flies can inflict reputational damage, it’s equally important that businesses are environmentally responsible in their pest control strategies. The Rentokil Fly Box presents a way of eliminating unwanted fly species while ensuring that unnecessary chemicals do not enter the ecosystem or impact non-target species.”

Posted in Food Safety, Hygiene, Innovation, Quality AssuranceComments Off on No Flies on Rentokil – Innovative Trap Designed to Combat Pesky Flies at Commercial Food Premises

Mettler-Toledo Safeline Wins Second Queen’s Award For Enterprise

Mettler-Toledo Safeline Ltd has been awarded a second Queen’s Award for Enterprise, this time in the Innovation category. The 2016 award follows The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade presented to the company in 2012. The leading supplier of metal detection systems for food, beverage and pharmaceutical production lines has received the highest award for businesses in the UK for developing its family of Profile metal detection products.

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is a prestigious awards programme for British businesses and organisations that excel at trade, innovation or sustainable development and has been presented each year since 1966. To be awarded the honour in the Innovation category, a company must demonstrate outstanding commercial success as a result of innovation over multiple years.

“This Award recognises the deep expertise of the SAFELINE team and its reputation for design and manufacture of technologically advanced metal detectors. With over 100,000 systems installed globally, we have accumulated thousands of man-years of experience, which allows us to continuously improve our products and processes.  On behalf of the global network of Mettler-Toledo employees, I am proud that the company has received this prestigious award in recognition of its high performance products and commitment to innovation,” says Alan Purvis, Managing Director, Mettler-Toledo Safeline Ltd.

Mettler-Toledo Safeline has been manufacturing metal detection systems for global food, beverage and pharmaceutical producers since 1988. It works in collaboration with international standard bodies and multinational retailers to develop guidelines for food and pharmaceutical safety in order to protect consumer welfare and brand reputation. The company’s most recent innovation – and the primary focus of The Queen’s Award – is the launch of the Profile Advantage metal detection system, which overcomes product effect to detect more metal in challenging applications. The new detector delivers up to 50% improved detection capabilities, and use of these improved metal detectors allows customers to meet or exceed food safety standards whilst avoiding inefficient and costly false rejects.

The industry standard is to use detectors tuned to a single radio frequency; Safeline has developed signal generation and processing techniques to deploy tuned, variable and dual frequency detectors.  The development effort to achieve this has been significant, with five granted patents and five further disclosures going through the patenting process. The company collaborates closely with the University of Manchester, sponsoring several PhDs to underpin its technology.

Quality standards governing the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries are becoming increasingly stringent within the GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) framework, such as the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Version 7, International Featured Standard (IFS), and the USA’s 2015 Food Safety Modernisation Act.

Mettler-Toledo Safeline’s metal detection technologies enable manufacturers to ensure compliance with best practice and due diligence to protect consumers from metal contamination whilst minimising the risk of reputation-damaging product recalls.

The company forms part of Mettler-Toledo’s Product Inspection Division, which supplies metal detection, x-ray inspection, checkweighing and vision inspection solutions. All solutions can be linked through the company’s bespoke Prod-X data management software, allowing manufacturers to control their entire product inspection management process from a single point or multiple remote locations, eliminating the need for time-consuming production line controls.

For further information visit www.mt.com/metaldetection.

Posted in Food Safety, Innovation, Packaging, Processing, Quality AssuranceComments Off on Mettler-Toledo Safeline Wins Second Queen’s Award For Enterprise

ICS Cool Energy Launches New NSF Glycol For Compliance in Food and Beverage Applications

Leading temperature control specialist, ICS Cool Energy, has launched an important new development in food processing safety with the introduction of FlowCool-FS. It is a food and beverage glycol fluid that’s fully accredited by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) for use within secondary refrigeration systems, where accidental contact with food is a possibility.

The new FlowCool-FS glycol is a non-toxic mono propylene glycol (MPG) with a temperature range of -35°C to 120°C. It uses non-toxic additives designed in line with NSF and US FDA criteria. If there is any incidental direct or indirect contact with food during processing or production applications, there is minimal risk to human health.

MPG and mono ethylene glycol (MEG) are the most commonly used glycols in secondary refrigeration systems. MPG is used by food manufacturers due to its suitability for food processing as it has very low toxicity levels compared with MEG.  However, MPG is often supplemented with harmful additives – a key problem that’s avoided when FlowCool-FS is used.

Brent Hall, Technical Manager at ICS Cool Energy, says: “This is an important development and a new product with NSF approval that brings extra peace of mind for food and beverage manufacturers. FlowCool-FS is a high performance concentrated, multi-component MPG-based heat transfer fluid, with low oral toxicity that will help to minimise the risk of contaminated food and protect corporate reputations. It has been developed by a team of skilled chemists, and is independently tested and fully accredited with NSF approval, meaning that FlowCool-FS gives food and beverage manufacturers one hundred per cent confidence for use in any application where accidental contact with food is a possibility.”

“ICS Cool Energy’s new addition to the glycol range means the food and beverage industry can easily avoid the potentially toxic and harmful additives that have traditionally been used in the sector,” adds Brent Hall. “MPG has long been the go-to glycol for food manufacturers but they are often supplemented by additives which combat potentially corrosive effects on the wider cooling system.”

“Unlike the organic inhibitors in FlowCool-FS, many traditional additives can be toxic to humans and damaging to systems and components. Worryingly, this fact is not always reflected in the safety data sheets.  So by using the wrong additives, there’s still the threat of contamination if any incidental contact with food occurs,” he says.

FlowCool-FS is tested to ASTM D1384 test standards, mitigating any potential corrosive effects on metals commonly found within secondary refrigeration systems, while still providing high levels of heat transfer efficiency.

For more information on ICS Cool Energy’s new FlowCool-FS range of NSF-approved glycols, please visit www.icscoolenergy.com  emailinfo@icscoolenergy.com or call 0800 774 7426. Follow ICS Cool Energy on Twitter @icscoolenergy.

Posted in Chilling & Refrigeration, Food Safety, ProcessingComments Off on ICS Cool Energy Launches New NSF Glycol For Compliance in Food and Beverage Applications

Alternative Application of Steam Treatment Can Potentially Replace Chemical and Physical Disinfections

Steam is a well-known decontamination method with a wide range of utilization. Steam processes are generally considered as highly cost-effective, easy to use and free from chemicals. Nevertheless, focus on this subject seems to be declining due to several process limitations, encountered in several cases. Cases with food products that possesses high infections risks, such as fresh or raw meat products, poultry, fish and berries do not respond well to steam processes. Long treatments cause thermal damages, while short treatments are inadequate for achieving appropriate microbial kill on such surfaces. The reason is due to a well-known phenomenon, referred to as the laminar sublayer. Laminar sublayer is a layer of stagnant air, present around any given object. This layer takes up much energy and delays heat transfer to the surface of the product. By the time the heat reaches the surface, the overall temperature of the product has increased and the product undergoes thermal damages.

Steam Combined With Ultrasound Offers New Possibilities

What if you could apply steam disinfection to heat sensitive food products and avoid the thermal changes? What if you could do this in a super-fast process with minimal costs and what if you could apply this same process to non-food products as well?

SonoSteam® combines steam with ultrasound to create a strong and intensified treatment. While the ultrasound waves rapidly disrupts the stagnant air, temperate steam gains instant access to the surface as well as inside microstructures where microorganism may hide. The ultrasound is like a “catalyst” which intensifies and accelerating the steam process. SonoSteam processes are therefore able to kill high loads of bacteria within just a second, before heat can penetrate and thermally damage the organic material.

Adjustable Processes Allow For a Wide Range of Application

Sonosteam disinfection processes offer a wide range of application – everything from meat, fruits, vegetables and dairy products to non-food products such as conveyors, food boxes, crates, cutting knives and etc. SonoSteam disinfection can be adjusted to existing working parameters (line speed, product quantity, product quality) and performs efficient decontamination without stalling main processes or production lines. The technology have demonstrated more than 7 logs microbial reductions on solid materials in just a quarter of a second, illustrating the efficiency of this technology.

A Case of SonoSteam Box and Tray Disinfection For Industrial Application

Whether they are used as a means of transportation or as storage, boxes or trays constitute a potential risk of cross contamination in clean environments. Microorganisms and their biofilm and toxins can built up very quickly on the surfaces, if routine cleaning is inadequate or neglected. Disinfection with certain chemicals can cause selection of dangerous superbugs that are able to outlive standard cleaning procedures. At worst case, the bacteria can end up on food products or sterile medical devices, where it can cause illnesses and even deaths.

One way of solving these problems would be the addition of more time consuming and costly cleaning steps. This would require more chemicals and extensive water rinse, including both hot and cold water to remove chemical residues. Another way is to apply SonoSteam disinfection. The SonoSteam disinfection for boxes and trays is a custom made unit, which can be integrated to the existing washing processes. The treatment time for the Sonosteam disinfection is adjusted to the existing line speed and the disinfection does not require any post wash. This technology removes the need for chemical disinfection and reduces large amount of water, without affecting the disinfection process.

Posted in Food Safety, Processing, Quality AssuranceComments Off on Alternative Application of Steam Treatment Can Potentially Replace Chemical and Physical Disinfections

European Commission Adopts Proposal to Improve Working Conditions in Fishing Sector

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive which aims at improving the working conditions for workers in the fishing sector. Following an agreement by social partners on working conditions in the fishing sector, the European Commission is translating the agreement into a legal proposal for a Directive.

In 2013, the EU social partners in the fishing sector reached an agreement, which proposed to align EU law with the “Work in Fishing” Convention 2007 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Once adopted by the Council, this directive will implement the social partner agreement, which provides for a higher level of protection of EU fishermen.

The proposed Directive will improve the living and working conditions of fishermen. It includes minimum requirements for:

* Work on board (e.g. minimum age, medical certificate, information in the employment contract)

* Conditions of service (working time limits, right of repatriation)

* Accommodation and food

* Occupational safety and health protection, including medical treatment on board and ashore

Furthermore, the implementation of the social partner agreement in EU legislation is expected to set an example for third countries to ratify the 2007 ILO Working in Fishing Convention. This is particularly relevant in the context of the fight against illegal fishing.

The European fisheries industry is the fourth largest in the world. The fisheries industry provides jobs for over 100,000 people in the EU. It supplies some 6.4 million tonnes of fish each year. Sea fishing is a cross-border sector which operates worldwide. Accordingly, fishing vessels registered in or sailing under the flag of an EU Member State also operate outside the territorial waters of the EU Member State concerned, for instance in waters under jurisdiction of other EU Member States and in international waters.

Fishermen often live and work for days on board of the vessel in difficult circumstances with heavy equipment. The accident and injury rate in the sector is high compared to other sectors: it can be 15 times higher than average. They do not return to their homes on a daily basis, so they are dependent on their employer for medical care on board, food, potable water, and accommodation.

Posted in CSR, Health & Safety, NewsComments Off on European Commission Adopts Proposal to Improve Working Conditions in Fishing Sector

Marel Poultry Uses Innovation to Tackle Topical Issues

Poultry producers are facing new challenges all the time. Key current issues are hygiene, food safety, sustainability and satisfying ever increasing demand for meat from the world’s growing population. How is Marel coping with these challenges? For Marel, there is only one way to go and that is to innovate.

Growing World Population

The worldwide increase in demand for meat protein requires new and innovative ways for producing the necessary volumes. As the global leader in poultry processing technology, Marel Poultry is intimately involved in making the additional processing capacity available. This means large scale industrialization, for which Marel Poultry offers the very best in automated high speed processing solutions, where the interests of both processors and consumers are always kept firmly in mind. To satisfy demand for the large volumes of poultry meat now needed, line speeds are increasing at an accelerating rate. Both capacity and performance need to increase too.

Sustainability

With innovative concepts which respect poultry, people and the planet, Marel Poultry is committed to the sustainability of its systems and solutions. The Stork AeroScalder is an excellent example. Traditional immersion scalding techniques use huge amounts of hot water. In the AeroScalder, products are not immersed in hot water but scalded using moisturized hot air which is blown onto them. This innovative concept saves up to 75% water and up to 50% energy. An additional bonus is that there is no cross-contamination during the process.

The “Robot with a Knife” concept is a process which maximizes product use and avoids give-away.

The “Robot with a Knife” concept is a process which maximizes product use and avoids give-away.

No Give-away, Maximum Value

Making the best use of product by avoiding costly give-away is part of the sustainability program. As each part of a processed product is highly valuable, losing just one gram of meat per product could mean the daily loss of 108 kg. That is why maximizing product use and avoiding give-away is one of Marel Poultry’s focus areas. Innovative technologies have been developed to give intelligent composite solutions such as the “robot with a knife” consisting of the I-Cut 122 Portion Cutter paired with the RoboBatcher Flex. The combination cuts strictly to customer order while the resulting offcuts are batched as valuable products in their own right.

Hygiene

As even the smallest localized incidence of bacterial contamination in the food chain can have much wider even global implications, hygiene has become of paramount importance for the food processing industry. Marel Poultry is keenly aware of this and offers solutions which help processors produce the safest possible food. Automation plays a key role here by doing away with the need for people to touch product. “Our maturation chilling system is a first-class example,” says Anton de Weerd, General Managing Director of Marel Poultry. “The cross-contamination of product with harmful bacteria is virtually eliminated. Product is fresher and shelf life significantly longer. The process both pre-chills and matures product to give very tender meat in a relatively short process time.”

Tracking the Food

Food safety and hygiene are closely related. A comprehensive tracking and tracing system is the best way for a processing plant to ensure food safety. Marel Poultry has developed just such a tracking and tracing system.  The moment a product enters the plant, the collection of data on it begins. Further data is added as it moves through the process. Data stays with the product, enabling retail consumers to check the origin and trustworthiness of what they are buying.

Innovative, accurate and reliable tracking and tracing would not be possible without a comprehensive software system. Marel’s Innova software has opened up new possibilities for effective poultry processing management. Today’s poultry processing plant can hold up to 40,000 broilers from beginning to end of the process. Innova software will register the weight, quality grade and eventual destination of each and every product in the process.  By using Innova to monitor and control production, poultry processors can significantly improve the efficiency and safety of their process.

For further information visit marel.com/poultry.

Posted in Hygiene, Innovation, Processing, SustainabilityComments Off on Marel Poultry Uses Innovation to Tackle Topical Issues

Enterprise Ireland and University College Dublin Launch New €1.7 Million Innovation Partnership to Enhance Food Quality and Safety

A new 3-year Innovation Partnership programme in food quality and safety has been launched at University College Dublin (UCD). The €1.7 million Enterprise Ireland and industry funded programme, Sequencing Alliance for Food Environments (SAFE), aims to develop a new predictive software toolbox to enhance food quality and safety approaches, nationally and with global reach, using environmental intelligence data.

SAFE is a unique partnership between the UCD Centre for Food Safety; six leading food and nutrition companies; Dairygold, Dawn Farm Foods, Glanbia, Kerry, Mead Johnson Nutrition and Nutrition Supplies, along with Creme Global, experts in predictive intake modelling software.

Food manufacturing and processing facilities contain millions of different bacteria, most of which are neither harmful to food nor to human health. However, a food quality and food safety risk is triggered when harmful bacteria, which can spoil food or pose a threat to human health, enter food production facilities.

Current methods used to control such bacteria are neither sufficiently rapid nor specific. They also use large amounts of energy, water and chemicals none of which are sustainable or kind to our environment.

The SAFE programme aims to develop a new state-of-the-art food safety and quality decision making software toolbox to mitigate against the risk of bacterial contamination in the food supply chain in a smarter, faster and in a more specific and sustainable way.

During a 2-year period researchers at UCD will track the environments in a number of food manufacturing plants in Ireland belonging to the industry partners. These plants include infant formula grade ingredient plants, a cooked and fermented meat processing plant and a precision vitamin and mineral pre-mix manufacturing facility.

Seasonal and climate changes will be taken into consideration during this period as such changes can cause shifts in the microbial communities or “microbiome” of the facilities. These changes affect food quality, safety and the nutritional profile of the final product.

By mapping these microbiomes across the seasons the consortium will develop databases which leverage gene sequencing technology and statistical analysis to define bacterial characteristics at the DNA level.

These databases will then be used to develop a predictive software toolbox. This toolbox will enable quicker and more accurate quality control analysis of the bacteria present in food facilities. This will prevent bacteria which can spoil food or pose a human health risk entering the food supply chain in a faster and a more sustainable way.

Professor Séamus Fanning, UCD Professor of Food Safety, comments: “I am excited about the possibilities of what this research can deliver. This programme positions UCD researchers and our Irish food industry and software research collaborators at the forefront of surveillance with the potential to use this data to control their production environments and protect their consumers. It is a proactive move, rather than a reactive one and our collaborators and Enterprise Ireland are to be acknowledged for taking this step. In harnessing this technology, this project will place Ireland’s food industry at the leading-edge of regulatory science.”

Director of Research and Innovation at Enterprise Ireland, Gearóid Mooney, says: “Ireland needs to take a global lead on the deployment of quality management and traceability technologies within our food manufacturing facilities. By developing a state of the art safety and quality decision making toolset to mitigate the risk of contamination in the food supply chain, this project demonstrates a new level of partnership, collaboration and joined up thinking between our client companies and our research institutes. The collaborators are to be commended for their support and participation in this exciting project.

“A key role of Enterprise Ireland is to support the development of innovation and Enterprise Ireland’s commitment of over €1 million to this Innovation Partnership project, builds on our investment in the Food for Health Ireland Technology Centre at UCD, and will enhance Ireland’s reputation of strong innovation and regulation in food safety.”

Facilitated by Food for Health Ireland (FHI), Enterprise Ireland’s largest Food Technology Centre, this innovation partnership programme demonstrates a new level of international partnership, open innovation and pre-competitive research between industries and academia across multiple sectors.

CAPTION:

Pictured (l-r) at the UCD Centre for Food Safety are Cian O’Mahony, Chief Science Officer, Creme Global; Dr Eimear Downey, Technical Advisor, Nutrition Supplies; Gearóid Mooney, Director of Research and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland; Professor Séamus Fanning, UCD Professor of Food Safety and UCD PhD student Joao Anes. Image: Gary O’Neill Photography.

Posted in Food Safety, Quality Assurance, ResearchComments Off on Enterprise Ireland and University College Dublin Launch New €1.7 Million Innovation Partnership to Enhance Food Quality and Safety

JBT Showcases Latest Frigoscandia® Spiral Freezer and DSI™Blade Portioning System at IFFA 2016

Global technology equipment supplier to the food processing industry, JBT will be launching its latest spiral freezer on Stand A20 in Hall 9.1 at this year’s IFFA, which the company claims is the most compact and hygienic freezer in the world, with the highest capacity of any comparable spiral freezer.

The new Frigoscandia® GYRoCOMPACT® 40 Spiral Freezer has evolved from one of JBT’s best selling products, the GYRoCOMPACT Classic 400 Spiral Freezer, which has sold over 1,100 units throughout the world.

This latest technology replaces the outdated wagon drive with the company’s patented FRIGoDRIVE® system providing a number of benefits. These include 30% faster belt speeds, even more advanced hygiene features, lower running and maintenance costs, and improved serviceability. The freezer also boasts an increase in capacity of between 15% and 20% on its predecessor, which is around 35% to 40% higher than can be produced on any competitor freezer of the same size.

A key feature of the Frigoscandia spiral freezing technology is the patented self-stacking FRIGoBELT® NOVA conveyor which forms a self-contained product freezing zone, as Torbjörn Persson, JBT’s portfolio and applications director, explains:

“With this new spiral freezer, the FRIGoBELT NOVA conveyor simply rests on the flat surface of the chain and the belt stack turns as a single unit, so there’s no need for supporting uprights or rails, either inside or outside. This means there are no stationary parts to cause jamming, or dirt-trapping structures to complicate cleaning. And the self-stacking FRIGoDRIVE system removes the need for a drum to wrap the belt around, so there’s no risk of overstretching the belt.”

As the demand for frozen food continues to increase, and legislation on Health & Safety becomes more regulated, Persson says that JBT is dedicated to producing freezer technology that sets the standard for hygiene, durability and cost of ownership.

“With the new GYRoCOMPACT 40 Spiral Freezer we’ve retained all the best technological features that we’ve developed over many years, and upgraded a best-selling design to meet this demand. This latest model is the most cleanable and cost-efficient freezer in the world, with around 35% to 40% higher capacity than any comparable freezer of the same size.”

The JBT portfolio also includes Stein coating and frying equipment, DSI slicing and portioning systems, Double D impingement cookers and searer/grill markers, and Formcook Contact and Combi Cookers.

Making its European debut at IFFA is the DSI™ Dual-Blade DB20 Portioning System, a low maintenance blade portioner, which complements the company’s existing range of DSI 800 Series waterjet portioning systems and the DSI Adaptive 3D Portioning System.

Suitable for a wide range of linear portioning applications, including poultry tenders, breast and leg meat into strips, nuggets, steaks and shots, the new system is consistently accurate, and easy to clean and operate.

“The system delivers high capacity linear portioning combined with low maintenance effort,” says Persson. “New DSI BladeSense™ software continuously monitors blade motor feedback and identifies opportunities to improve cutting performance.”

The DSI DB20 system delivers superior scanning with a single, high-performance sensor that continuously self-calibrates, while detecting product shape as well as fat vs. lean. The dual-lane system can run a separate application on each lane and weight-controlled or dimensionally controlled portions, strips or nuggets can be combined with angled cuts.

“The new system is built on 30 years of DSI portioning, software, motion control, service and applications experience. It means food processing companies have yet another way to improve profitability and achieve the lowest cost per kilo of portioned meat product.”

Other products exhibited from JBT’s portfolio include the proven Stein M-Fryer, with its efficient oil management system, small footprint and THERMoFIN® heat exchanger, and a Formcook 409 Contact Cooker for efficient sealing and searing of products.

All JBT products can be stand-alone or integrated to form complete in-line food processing operations. There are fully-equipped Food Technology Centres in Helsingborg in Sweden, and near Edinburgh in the UK, where customers come to trial their own products and recipes under the supervision of a trained technical team. For further information visit www.jbtfoodtech.com.

Posted in Chilling & Refrigeration, Conferences & ExhibitionsComments Off on JBT Showcases Latest Frigoscandia® Spiral Freezer and DSI™Blade Portioning System at IFFA 2016



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