Manufacturing News

If you don't measure it, you can't control it

Process Analytical Technology (PAT) is a system for getting a right batch every time by using on-line/in-line sensors (rather than taking measurements or samples to the lab) and knowledge of the process often implemented in advanced process control (APC) algorithms. 

This approach to enhance product quality through deeper process knowledge and process instrumentation is the result of an FDA directive issued some time ago for the benefit of the pharma industry.

The goal of the directive was for pharma to consistently get batches right, with less FDA oversight, less reliance on post-production quality inspection and less testing. While the right dose with the right efficacy is important, pharma has derived another major benefit from the directive-control.

PAT can also be successfully applied to a number of food and beverage processes, even packaging, says Fred Discenzo, manager, diagnostics & sensors at Rockwell Automation Advanced Technology Laboratory. These include any fermentation process-cheese, beer, wine, yogurt-and others like tomato production, pizza sauce and ketchup. Major food and beverage processors are already using PAT to produce more on-spec product with less waste, scrap and energy consumption-at relatively low costs.

While sophisticated electrochemical sensors are becoming available to evaluate the chemistry of a food product, less-sophisticated devices with the right software algorithms can go a long way into implementing PAT in a process, says Discenzo. Some food processors are using common sensors that measure temperature, level and moisture to obtain much of the data for software algorithms to get processes under control, running at peak efficiency.

Fred Discenzo can be reached at or 440-646-7325.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

IPPE 2015

The 2015 International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) was held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center, Jan. 27-29. More than 30,000 poultry, meat and feed industry representatives attended the event to interact with the 1,288 exhibitors on the show floor that covered more than 490,000 net square feet. At the show exhibitors demonstrated innovations in equipment, supplies and services utilized by firm in the production and processing of meat, poultry, eggs and feed products.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering March 2015 cover

2015 March

In this March 2015 issue of Food Engineering, we explore how a surprise FDA audit could be serious if you're not recording key data.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.