Archive | Quality Assurance

Eilersen Electric Launches the World’s First Hygienic Beam Load Cell

Eilersen is releasing a new series of digital load cells in a hygienic (aseptic) design for dynamic weighing, process weighing, filling, packaging and general weighing applications targeted primarily at food and pharma customers. The new hygienic design is unique without any exposed bellow grooves, facilitating easy cleaning to minimize the risk of bacteria and contaminants on the load cells, and thereby ensuring an overall high level of hygiene.

All Eilersen load cells are developed and manufactured in Denmark and based on a highly accurate and very robust capacitive measuring principle. This technology allows an installation without complicated, nonhygienic stay rods and overload protection devices, which are applied in most strain gage load cell installations and result in a non-hygienic final installation.

The absence of overload protection devices in an installation with the new Eilersen hygienic load cells further improves the existing design, and thereby provides an installation which is even more simple, easy to commission and hygienic.

World’s First Hygienic Beam Load Cell

The new Eilersen beam load cell type BL is the world’s first beam load cell in a hygienic design and is characterized by the smooth bellow, which provides a clean, maintenance free installation and is unique for weighing systems using beam load cells.

Beam load cells in general are known for the difficulty when cleaning the bellows and the need for overload protection devices, both of which are not necessary when installing Eilersen beam load cells. The new hygienic design from Eilersen eliminates the difficulties in cleaning the load cell surfaces, and thereby reduces the risk of product contamination.

The new hygienic digital beam load cell type BL is produced in electropolished stainless steel, hermetically sealed (IP68) and can be supplied in capacities up to 1000kg with 0.025% accuracy. The load cell type BL is ATEX certified for installation in ATEX zone 1, 2, 21 and 22.

New Application-specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) Provides Optimal Specifications

During development of the new range of load cells, the specifications have been optimized through a proprietary ASIC, which is manufactured for Eilersen utilizing the newest technologies.

Flexible Instrumentation

The new load cells can be supplied with the most common fieldbus interface options such as PROFINET, Profibus DP, EtherNet IP and Modbus TCP. In addition, the new hygienic load cells can be supplied with a range of digital weighing terminals that include standard firmware for most weighing applications or customized firmware.

Reliable Capacitive Technology

Eilersen has more than 40 years’ experience as experts in industrial weighing, with capacitive load cells that are known for a simple mechanical and simple electrical installation, reducing both the overall installation cost and minimizing customer’s maintenance costs. These characteristics are known and appreciated by satisfied users in more than 85 countries all over the world.

For further information contact: Eilersen Electric A/S, Kokkedal Industripark, 4 DK-2980 Kokkedal. Tel +45 49 180 100; E-mail info@eilersen.com; Web www.eilersen.com.

Posted in Hygiene, Packaging, Processing, Quality Assurance0 Comments

Hygienic Sealed Wall Kerbing Within Food and Drink Factories

In the food and drink factories it is an important factor when manufacturing, processing, packaging and distributing quality products, daily. With various processing areas in a factory it is imperative that the construction of the factory will not impede production or fail due to its impact wear.

With strict demands within the food and drink industry it is crucial to provide a highly hygienic environment to avoid all costs of contamination. The choice of material within a factory design is highly important to withstand the regular cleaning regimes as well as increasing the clean ability of the environment.

Aspen Stainless are the UK’s exclusive agent of Polysto hygienic wall kerb range. Each kerb is made from a very strong polymer with a smooth finish, the kerbing is designed to reduce the ingress of liquids and provide protection to walls, columns and the door edges from floor level.

To increase clean ability a Polysto rebated wall kerb can be installed with a resin floor to create a smooth curve. The rebated kerb eliminates the stand 90 degree angle which increases clean ability and decreases the risk of dirt traps.

When installed the wall kerb is sealed with a high quality silicone based food joint sealant, which contains a special fungicide to prevent build-up of bacteria. The high strength formula is ideal for food environments for its high humidity and temperature resistant attributes.

Accompanied with wall cladding and bump rails Aspen can provide a completely sealed hygienic surface between floors and walls. The added protection will support daily traffic and the potential loading bay collisions.

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

Posted in Hygiene, Processing, Quality Assurance0 Comments

Ravenwood Launches End of Line Quality Control System

Linerless gurus, Ravenwood Packaging has unveiled its latest game-changing technology, the VXR; combining vision, x-ray and seal check technology. The new innovation launched at Pro2Pac, ahead of the Ravenwood Annual Conference.

The new compact and high-tech arrangement provides an all-inclusive process for the seamless production of sleeving, contaminate detection and sealing of trays. Customers will benefit from fully automating their production lines, alleviating the need for manual checks which are costly in terms of manpower and time consuming when production deadlines are tight. These three technologies fall under the operation of just one machine, incorporated into just 1.9m. The ‘end of line’ solution provider to meet the food industry’s stringent requirements.

“Supermarkets are demanding improved quality, 100% error free labelling and reduced costs – placing increased pressure on suppliers,” says Paul Beamish, Founder and Managing Director of Ravenwood Packaging. “The new VXR machine will not only meet these demands but will outperform manual operations for a fully streamlined process.”

The key functionality of the VXR system, when combining the three technologies, is to identify and reject food trays that are seen to contain errors. Ravenwood’s VXR will solve these issues with ‘Sapphire’ carbon nanotube field emission technology. Sapphire is a leading technology in the field of x-ray, boasting low energy, high speeds and resolution for unparalleled performance.

Vision

With ‘Vision’, the machine automatically detects faulty labels, printing errors and poor quality print. Expect analysis of label position, quantity and orientation. All printed information is checked including barcodes, use-by dates and traceability codes. The system also boasts a user-friendly interface for rugged factory environments. Ravenwood stipulated this at the design phase. “The machine must be simple and easy to use,” says Beamish.

X-Ray

The VXR is programmed with heightened sensitivity for detecting dense mass and contaminates, and identifies foreign bodies such as glass, metal, ceramics including all types of bones. Products are cast aside and placed in the removable reject bin.

Seal Check

Contaminates in the seal are also screened, ensuring trays and food packages are properly sealed. Foods that have ‘slipped’ could potentially obstruct the seal. The system also examines for the correct position of the food and number of products within the tray – for example, number of meatballs.

“Contamination of food may pose serious consequences for a company. Under the Product Liability Law, every food producer is liable for contagions in the event that a consumer should be harmed,” adds Beamish.

Ravenwood is now taking orders. Machines are built bespoke to feature just one or all three of the technologies. For further information, contact Natalie Bonner on +44 (0) 1284 749144 or email marketing@ravenwood.co.uk.

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Key Technology Helps Processors Improve Product Quality, Increase Yield and Reduce Costs

Key Technology has a long history as a trusted supplier and partner to food processors worldwide. With the single most complete source of high performance digital sorting, conveying and other automation systems, Key helps processors improve product quality, increase yield and reduce costs.

Key’s high-performance laser/camera sorting systems – VERYX®, Manta®, Optyx®, Python, Spyder, Taurys™ and Tegra® – remove defects and foreign material (FM) based on colour, size, shape and structural properties. Advanced software gives digital sorters the ability to Sort-to-Grade™ (STG) and/or collect, analyze and share useful data across the enterprise via Information Analytics. Hyperspectral imaging systems, including Cayman® BioPrint® digital sorters and ADR® with CIT®, add chemometric analysis to detect invisible defects as well as a high concentration of sugars, solid content and internal diseases.

These sorters are complemented by Key’s shakers, Iso-Flo® vibratory conveyors, Horizon™ horizontal motion conveyors and Impulse® electromagnetic conveyors, which can be designed to convey, feed, align, dewater, deoil, distribute and more. Other processing equipment includes rotary size graders for sizing, grading and separating and systems for blanching, air cooling, air cleaning, washing and feeding.

In addition to world-class systems that satisfy production needs from raw receiving to the packaging line, Key’s deep industry expertise and unparalleled service contributes to its preferred supplier status.

Food processors of all sizes know they can rely on Key for single-point solutions as well as complex, multi-step processing lines. Global support includes application testing, line integration, installation and start-up, training, customizable service packages for maintenance and repairs and more.

For further information contact Key Technology at Email contact@key.net; Tel +3211249191 or visit www.key.net.

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Seafood DNA Traceability Programme to Guarantee Greater Levels of Transparency

A first-ever ‘farm to fork’ programme for shrimp production has been announced, offering consumers DNA based assurance on the origin and quality of shrimp. Through enhanced transparency the TraceBack programme will also help promote ethical labour practices, which have been highlighted in the global shrimp industry.

The technology offering – already available in animal meat – has been developed by DNA tracing company IdentiGEN in partnership with international seafood producer Seafresh. The traceable shrimp will be sold at Marks and Spencer outlets in the UK, the first time such an offering has been brought to the consumer.

IdentiGEN Co-Founder and Director Ronan Loftus says that shrimp are globally sourced and the application of DNA TraceBack to the industry brings a further degree of accountability to production and labour practices, which are increasingly being demanded by both retailers and the consumer.

“With its complex and global supply chain, the shrimp industry has been subject to high profile controversy in recent years for poor quality, excessive use of antibiotics and reports of human trafficking, slave and child labour,” he says. “This programme will give guaranteed transparency to both retailer and consumer that what they are buying is sourced from approved sources and meets highest standards in terms of production practices.”

He points out that recent scientific advances in DNA technology has made traceability deliverable at a large scale, enabling its expansion into the seafood sector.

He elaborates: “A sample taken from a female shrimp can be used to trace all of its progeny (hundreds of thousands of shrimp) back to its farm of origin with unprecedented accuracy – through the use of ‘Natures Barcode’. This makes DNA sampling and TraceBack of large numbers of shrimp from the fork back to their exact farm of production possible and cost efficient. The system can also be used to trace shrimp post cooking, or further processing, where considerable co-mingling of production from different sources can occur.”

The programme is currently being operated by Seafresh which is producing the shrimp in Central America, processing in the UK and supplying to Marks and Spencer.

Seafresh CEO Lasse Hansen says: “We are delighted to partner with IdentiGEN and our customers on this exciting new era for shrimp traceability. Our industry has been dogged by claims of child labour, poor production practices and use of unapproved feeding regimes. The unprecedented levels of supply chain transparency will help us convey more effectively to our customers and the consumer the care we take to meet the growing consumer expectations for a top quality, sustainable and ethically sourced shrimp supply.”

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Tougher EU Food Inspections From Farm to Fork

Plans to tighten up official food inspections, from farm to fork, have been adopted by the European Parliament. The new rules, already informally agreed by MEPs and the Council, aims to improve food traceability, combat fraud and restore consumer trust in the integrity of the food chain.

The legislation will provide a comprehensive, integrated and more effective control system in the areas of food and feed safety rules, veterinary and plant health requirements, organic production and protected geographical indication rules.

“After the horse meat scandal, consumers had serious questions about the traceability of food, and the integrity of the meat supply chain. The European Parliament strove to address these concerns and to end up with a text that allows competent authorities to effectively combat fraudulent practices,” says rapporteur Karin Kadenbach (S&D, AT).

She adds: “I am also proud that Parliament managed to have the chapter on enforcement strengthened, in particular regarding the penalties to be applied in the event of intentional violations of the rules. I trust that really deterrent penalties will be a key tool to combat fraud in every area.”

The new rules provide for:

* a comprehensive scope, encompassing the whole agri-food chain: controls on food, feed, plant health, pesticides, animal welfare, geographical indications, organic farming,

* unannounced, risk-based controls in all sectors,

* better enforcement against fraudulent or deceptive practices,

* import conditions for animals and products imported from third countries, and

* European Commission controls in EU member states and in third countries.

Posted in Food Safety, Quality Assurance, RegulationsComments Off on Tougher EU Food Inspections From Farm to Fork

Flowcrete UK’s New White Paper Explores HACCP and What it Means for the Food Industry

Implementing an effective Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) food safety management system is a central priority for today’s food and beverage producers, as it is critical to complying with the standards of domestic and international regulatory authorities, governments and consumers.

Flowcrete UK has produced a white paper entitled What is a HACCP Food Safety Management System and How Does it Relate to Flooring?to help food and beverage businesses learn about this preventive risk assessment tool and ensure that all facilities comply with its guidelines.

Flowcrete UK’s Managing Director, Kevin Potter, said: “We’ve worked with some of the world’s largest food producers at their most challenging plants and we’ve always ensured that the knowledge, experience and skills we’ve built up have been put to use creating floors that effectively meet the industry’s multifaceted demands.

“This white paper has been produced as part of our commitment to advise the food industry on best practice flooring, as it is essential to follow HACCP’s rules in order to ensure that the finish underfoot will provide the necessary properties for a food facility.”

As the white paper explains, being HACCP compliant is vital to fulfilling the increasingly strict requirements of industry regulators. This is exemplified by the Food Safety & Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 which reiterates Article 5 (1) of Regulation 852/2004 of the European Parliament: “Food business operators put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure or procedures based on the HACCP principles.” Parallel legislation is also in force in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

When combined with the fact that many nations will require food to have been produced according to the same or similar principles, this means that failing to meet the HACCP benchmark can stop businesses from trading both domestically and internationally. 

The HACCP process involves analysing food safety hazards and putting in place appropriate controls to eliminate or reduce contamination. Getting the floor area right is central to this, as failing to do so could put the facility at risk from unwanted and difficult to eradicate bacteria build-up which could easily infiltrate and spoil produce onsite. 

In the white paper readers will be able to find out what flooring characteristics and certifications they need to look out for in order to ensure that floors within production, processing and storage areas live up to the HACCP standard.

The white paper also examines how HACCP came to be created, the role it plays in the UK’s regulations as well as the product certification scheme HACCP International, which evaluates materials, equipment and services used within the food industry.

Getting ahead with HACCP is not an option, as the future of the food industry is towards ever more regulated use of due diligence programs. For example the FSA’s Foodborne Disease Strategy, a compliance and enforcement plan, aims to secure major improvements in public protection and health through an overall better and more efficient risk-based regulatory system.

If you’d like to learn more about this increasingly important topic then click here to download and read the white paper. To discuss specifying a HACCP International certified floor for a specific food and beverage facility then get in touch with Flowcrete UK’s expert team.

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New White Paper Reveals How Automation Can Prevent Product Recalls

Product recalls can have a catastrophic impact on a food manufacturer’s brand and business but existing systems often rely on people that are prone to errors. A new white paper from OAL explains the top five errors and how food manufacturers can ‘Protect their brands from product recalls with automation’.

In 2015, 277 product recalls in the UK were related to labelling and packaging errors. People up and down the supply chain make mistakes every day and manufacturers need to be confident that their systems can detect and prevent them. Written by Wayne Johnson, OAL Connected Manager, the white paper provides insights into:

  • The top five reasons label and packaging errors occur in food manufacturing.
  • How automation can prevent label and packaging errors.
  • Ideas on the future development path of automation in food manufacturing.

Wayne has worked in the food industry for over 20 years, on both sides of the retail fence for as Technical Manager for First Milk and a Supermarket Auditor for Somerfield. He now works for OAL helping food manufacturers eliminate errors and explains: “We published this white paper to help manufacturers understand the errors and risks they are exposed to everyday and how they can use automation to overcome them. Every year there is more pressure for compliance and food safety and ultimately paper based systems can’t keep up.”

OAL Connected is installed on over 1,000 lines globally eliminating product recalls. Greencore in Leeds, the largest manufacturer of Yorkshire Puddings in the UK chose the system having experienced a product recall. Caroline Smales, Technical Manager at Greencore, explains: “What the system has given us is peace of mind and allowed us to regain customer confidence.”

Download a complimentary copy of “Protecting Your Brand Reputation With Automation By Eliminating Label And Packaging Errors”.

OAL Connected protects over 1,000 packaging lines globally from label and date code errors. Leading brands including Heinz, Bakkavor and Yeo Valley use OAL Connected to stop errors and increase productivity. With OAL Connected you can ensure paperless food safety, traceability, performance, productivity, recipe management and label and date code verification (Autocoding). For more information, visit http://www.oalgroup.com/connected/

 

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Draft Guidance on Substances in Food For Infants Below 16 Weeks – Open For Comments

EFSA is launching a public consultation on its new draft guidance on the risk assessment of substances present in food intended for infants below 16 weeks of age.

From birth up to 16 weeks, infants are exclusively fed on breast milk and/or infant formula and safe levels set for the general population do not apply. EFSA’s Scientific Committee proposes a new approach for assessing the substances found in infant formula that can better support EU decision-making on the safe use of infant formula.

EFSA invites its stakeholders and other interested parties to submit written comments by 31 March 2017, using the electronic template provided. All the correctly submitted comments will be assessed and, if found to be relevant, taken into consideration by the Scientific Committee in finalising the Guidance. A report on the consultation will be published together with the final Guidance.

Public consultation on the draft EFSA guidance on the risk assessment of substances present in food intended for infants below 16 weeks of age

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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 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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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.”

 

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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3M – Optimising Food Safety, Quality and Productivity

3MApril20163M applies science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $30 billion in sales, 3M’s 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. 3M invests about 5.6 per cent of its sales revenue in research and development and is recognised as a global innovator1, producing more than 3000 patents each year.

3M’s 8,500 scientists around the globe apply science in powerful ways, developing ingenious solutions which improve daily life for millions of people. This is encapsulated in the company’s brand identity, 3M Science. Applied to Life™.

Science is at the heart of everything 3M does, including application of clever technologies which enable food manufacturers to optimise product safety, quality and productivity.

3M2April20163M’s Food Safety business offers a comprehensive range of food safety solutions: rapid hygiene management and allergen control; indicator testing, advanced pathogen testing; sample handling; end product screening; and supply chain product temperature monitoring.

With today’s increasingly stringent food quality standards, both laboratory testing and hygiene monitoring need to be reliable and consistently accurate for consumer and brand protection.

As a science-based company, 3M is constantly innovating, but recognises that ‘science is just science’ until it’s applied to making a difference to people’s lives. That’s what 3M’s Food Safety team has been doing for over thirty years – keeping consumers safe, improving lab and manufacturing efficiencies for customers and providing them with the highest standards of technical support.

More information about our food safety products can be found at www.3M.com/foodsafey.

References – 1) Thomson Reuters 2015 Top 100 Global Innovators. www.stateofinnovation.com.

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Mitigate Cross-contamination Risk With Hygienic Pallets

With food and beverage exports having doubled over the past decade, Jim Hardisty, MD of Goplasticpallets.com, provides examples of hygiene best practice in logistics.

According to the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), there are nearly 30 industry groups such as the Food Storage & Distribution Federation, and the industry’s 400,000 employees feed nearly 64 million people every day from 9,500 manufacturing sites and factories.

In 2014, industry exports accounted for £18.3 billion¹ yet future manufacturing and processing industry growth prediction is set to exceed £113 billion² with over 105,000 skilled new recruits being needed by 2022.

In addition to the annual Food Safety Week campaigns, the government runs ongoing consultations within the food and drink manufacturing industry to improve food hygiene practices and consumer safety regulations. In this article we focus on hygiene best practice within the industry and the benefits of using plastic pallets and food containers.

Food Poisoning

Food poisoning affects as many as 5.5 million people in the UK every year. Most manufacturers are already aware of these concerns, and thus are increasingly turning to plastic pallets and sealable plastic containers for the arguably more economical and secure transportation solution that aids safe storage of food ingredients and fresh produce and helps to reduce waste.

Jim Hardisty, Managing Director of Goplasticpallets.com.

Jim Hardisty, Managing Director of Goplasticpallets.com.

Microorganisms can be introduced at any point in the food supply chain and are invisible to the naked eye, which is why it’s vitally important for food manufacturers to source the most hygienic pallets for handling and transporting their products. Plastic pallets are water-resistant and allow for high-pressure cleaning in between uses, which minimises the risk of infestation, odour, fungi, mould or harmful foodborne pathogens which may be found on wooden pallets.

Hygienic Plastic Pallets

Although all plastic pallets are hygienic when compared to traditional wooden pallets, at Goplasticpallets.com we offer a range of specially designed Hygienic plastic pallets that are ideal for use in food production areas and clean room environments. Our Hygienic plastic pallets are manufactured from food grade high density polyethylene (HDPE) which makes them fully compliant with EU safety legislation and suitable for food businesses to use as part of an HACCP plan. The smooth sealed surfaces of our Hygienic plastic pallets have no cavities, won’t absorb moisture and are tolerant of weak acids and alkalis.

Another great example of how our plastic products have helped to improve hygienic operations within food manufacturing is our collaboration with Forresters Chicken. The company ordered just over 2,000 of our GoS&N 64140P food containers to replace cardboard boxes used to hold products in factories and to transport chicken products to customers.

Versatile Range

Our versatile range of durable plastic stack and nesting containers are a perfect fit for the poultry company due to the smooth and straight walls for large internal capacity (10kg of product), perforations that allow for drainage and good airflow, as well as ease of cleaning.

Our Hygienic pallets have fully sealed non-absorbent surfaces and are available in a range of colours.

Our Hygienic pallets have fully sealed non-absorbent surfaces and are available in a range of colours.

Heidi Nickson, Director of Forresters Chicken said: “We are an A grade BRC approved food processing company. Top quality hygiene is key to our business success. Everything used in the factory must be food grade and either plastic or stainless steel ideally. From the moment we decided we needed plastic trays and contacted Goplasticpallets.com we have received good service from helpful staff with a product that serves our needs perfectly.”

Food Hygiene Scares

Food hygiene scares present a massive threat to food manufacturers not only in terms of the financial impact, but also in the damaging effect they can have on a company’s brand. Every day there are product recall stories in the news which can be detrimental to consumer trust and supply chain relationships. Professionals in the industry can help to avoid such negative experiences by making the decision to ’Go Plastic’ by using plastic pallets and boxes.

For further information – Tel 01323 744057, E-mail sales@goplasticpallets.com or visit www.goplasticpallets.com.

References:

  1. IGD – Key Industry Facts – igd.com/About-us/Media/Key-industry-facts.
  2. Food Manufacture – Food and drink manufacturing industry set for 3-4% growth – www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Manufacturing/Food-and-drink-manufacturing-industry-set-for-3-4-growth.

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Foodcert – Packaging as a Quality Factor

The food industry has very high standards for the production and transport of foods. As IBCs are commonly used at the beginning of the food chain, eg for concentrates, pre-products and raw ingredients, even small impairments can have serious implications. High safety standards guarantee quality along the entire chain, from production to transport and sales.

Schütz has developed the new Foodcert IBCs and drums to match these requirements. These packaging products provide full material, product and process safety. They comply with all the specifications of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European guidelines, and include many additional factors to minimise risks. This new packaging matches today’s significantly higher requirements in the food industry, extending far beyond the usual focus on materials.

Particular preventive measures on the Cleancert line: Preproduced components, such as screw caps, for instance, are hygienically wrapped until required for final assembly. Staff wear protective clothing in accordance with detailed hygiene regulations.

Particular preventive measures on the Cleancert line: Preproduced components, such as screw caps, for instance, are hygienically wrapped until required for final assembly. Staff wear protective clothing in accordance with detailed hygiene regulations.

Certified Safety

This new IBC range is based on a complex process of certification in accordance with the industry standard FSSC 22000 (Food Safety System Certification, based on ISO 22000 in connection with ISO/TS 22002-4) for all relevant Schütz production sites worldwide. Internal audit planning ensures renewed FSSC compliance every year. Schütz follows the guidelines of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), which recognises this system certification. The GFSI is the world’s largest non-profit organisation for the improvement of food safety; it was founded in 2000 by food producers and retailers to establish international standards. The area of influence of the GFSI and its guidance document currently includes Europe, the US, South America, China and India.

Preventive Manufacturing

Complying with maximum safety requirements demands effective preventive programmes: Schütz has implemented numerous measures within the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) concept. These apply to all buildings, equipment and the entire production environment and together make a huge contribution to maintaining filling product quality.

Just-in-time production and seamless traceability: the new Foodcert IBCs conform to the wishes of consumers for food labelling stating the exact place of origin.

Just-in-time production and seamless traceability: the new Foodcert IBCs conform to the wishes of consumers for food labelling stating the exact place of origin.

Schütz manufactures Foodcert packaging just-in-time on the basis of individual customer orders: immediately after moulding the IBC inner bottles are transferred to final assembly and inserted. Each production step and component is clearly assigned to the relevant packaging product and is free of silicone. A barcode system identification enables seamless traceability right back to batch and process level. Schütz can also assign individual identification numbers for articles or packaging items. Finished Foodcert IBCs are loaded indoors without delay and dispatched. Pre-produced components such as screw caps, outlet valves or bung plugs are hygienically packaged and stored separately. Containers which are being dispatched later are stored in special, closed rooms. Optional plastic covers provide additional protection until the IBC is used to transport concentrates and food products.

EVOH – Protection For Consistent Quality

Schütz can also supply Foodcert IBCs with an EVOH barrier layer to protect sensitive goods, e.g. milk, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages and aromas, during transport. This enhanced protection is made possible by Security Layer Technology, where up to six functional layers can be extruded in one go. Integrated between two carrier layers, this technology offers effective protection against permeation, preventing gases, aromas, fragrances or solvents from permeating in or out of the container, stopping vitamin degradation and significantly extending the shelf-life of sensitive filling products. The EVOH barrier also allows the proportion of preservatives to be reduced and even means that the containers do not require cooling during transportation. A white or black conductive outer layer provides protection against UV radiation and light. Customers profit from the consistently high quality and storability of their products.

Schütz Packaging Systems is committed to continuous internal research activities and close cooperations with institutions and universities. This ensures that the products developed by the IBC specialist are closely aligned to the changing requirements of the food industry.

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Flowcrete Takes Food Safe Flooring Message to Food and Drink Industry

Flowcrete UK is taking its expertise on how to create floors that meet the highest food safety standards to several leading food & beverage industry events throughout 2016. The resin flooring manufacturer will be attending both the Foodex show at Birmingham’s NEC on the 18th April as well as the 6th Annual European Food Safety & Quality Summit, which will be taking place in Huis ter Duin, Netherlands from the 26th–27th May.

At these events, Flowcrete UK will be outlining the key flooring characteristics that food and beverage manufacturers need to be aware of to ensure that the floor will facilitate a clean and safe working space while simultaneously being able to withstand the complex challenges inherent to the industry, such as corrosive food by-products, frequent spillages, hot ovens, cold fridges, heavy equipment, foot traffic and more!

Attendees to Foodex can discuss flooring solutions tailored to meet the above demands with Flowcrete UK’s resin flooring experts on stand N219. This includes how to create exceptionally robust, seamless and impervious floor areas that can incorporate stainless steel drainage and be laid to a fall to ensure the highest levels of cleanability. Installing floors that meet these criteria will help to safeguard the site’s sanitary integrity and avoid contaminants infiltrating the produce or working processes.

Flowcrete UK will be joined at the European Food Safety & Quality Summit by the Managing Director of HACCP International EMEA, Richard Mallet, who will present a panel discussion entitled ‘How to Ensure Your HACCP Compliance’. The panel will look at upcoming HACCP regulatory changes as well as how businesses can prepare a successful strategy to meet HACCP requirements.

HACCP International operates a product certification scheme within which they evaluate materials intended for the food industry to identify food safety hazards and appropriate controls in order to reduce the risk of food contamination from those materials. This is now a key requirement of any due diligence process including the approved procurement of materials.

Flowcrete’s polyurethane flooring range Flowfresh has recently achieved International HACCP certification.

Flowcrete’s polyurethane flooring range Flowfresh has recently achieved International HACCP certification.

Flowcrete UK’s Managing Director, Kevin Potter, says: “With today’s intense focus on hygiene within the food industry it is critical that facility designers, owners and operators choose building materials that they know will be up to the task at hand. However the complexity of the modern F&B industry can make this difficult – as the regulations that each system has to comply with can be extensive! We’ve developed a considerable amount of experience providing floors that actively work to minimise the risk of contamination and we’re taking this knowledge to these shows so that we can share it with food industry professionals.”

Flowcrete UK’s polyurethane range Flowfresh has been HACCP International certified due to its ability to retain an ultra-hygienic finish and its ability to be an active part of a contamination prevention programme within intensive food production facilities. Many high-profile food producers around the world have utilised Flowfresh to protect the floor from the site’s operational challenges, including McVitie’s, Thorntons, Heineken and Unilever.

Every Flowfresh floor includes the antibacterial additive Polygiene®, a silver-ion based agent that is able to eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria that comes into contact with the floor. The polyurethane system has been proven to meet the ISO 22196 standard, which measures the antibacterial effectiveness of plastics and other non-porous surfaces. The combination of HACCP International certification and ISO 22196 compliance proves that Flowfresh is uniquely tailored to meet the industry’s stringent hygiene demands.

Flowcrete UK has recently added to the Flowfresh range with Flowfresh HF LT. This system has an increased fluidity at lower temperatures, which makes it easier to spread and finish on construction sites that fall below 15°C. It is also produced without pine oil to limit odour during the floor’s installation and its resistance to water marking helps to ensure a high quality finish.

To find out more about food industry flooring, visit Flowcrete UK at either Foodex or at the 6th Annual European Food Safety & Quality Summit. Alternatively, you can get in touch with the resin flooring experts by calling 01270 753000, emailing uk@flowcrete.com or by visiting www.flowcrete.co.uk, where there is a wealth of information on flooring specification, installation and maintenance.

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