“It’s only through the efforts of our associates and business partners that we were able to retrofit this nearly 30-year-old-building and make it more environmentally friendly,” said Allen Moore, technical manager, Frito-Lay Topeka. “Achieving LEED EB gold standards is another significant step on our company’s sustainability journey and solidifies our place as a leader in
To achieve LEED EB certification, Frito-Lay’s sustainability strategy included implementing a number of green design and construction features, water reduction technologies and practices, and improved waste management.
Sandridge Food Corporation installed a high-pressure processing (HPP) system at its facility in
According to Mary Vaccaro, Sandridge senior marketing manager, using HPP can extend the shelf life of potato salad more than 60 days with no change in flavor and texture. “Additionally, we have seen over 60 days on a wide variety of protein salads [which] are usually the highest dollar item for the deli buyer. Any sort of shrink that they have is costly. HPP can really be their tool to combat that problem,” she adds. Another advantage to using HPP, according to Vaccaro, is less dressing can be used on a product, which creates a more made-from-scratch look and taste.
“We have committed to this technology, not only because food safety is our highest priority, but because we firmly believe that foods with fewer preservatives and clean labels are the right thing to provide to the consumers of today,” said Mark D. Sandridge, chief executive officer of Sandridge Food Corporation. “Consumers want to be able to read labels that contain simple ingredients. With HPP, we are able to deliver culinary products that the consumer can feel good about with recognized and trusted ingredients, while still maintaining the highest degree of food safety, taste and nutrition.”With HPP, an equal amount of pressure is transmitted throughout a container of food in all directions, preserving the shape of the food and its container while killing harmful bacteria. Bacteria are inactivated at pressures from 58,000 to 87,000 psi and water temperatures below 45°F.
While 2009 was a year of recession, 2010 is showing signs of recovery. Markets with positive outlooks include beverages, coffee and tea production, food and food preparation production, pharmaceutical and medical devices and personal care products. The
Beyond its own Green Garden–branded products, it has developed a system exclusively designed to work with large-volume clients on custom formula duplication and product development. To meet these scaled-up demands, maintain high product quality and satisfy its customers,
According to Quality Manager Sam Samia-Kalantari, with the old system, reports of analysis required importing the data into Excel, performing statistical calculations and creating charts, which were basic bell curves and run charts. Now, data collection, charting and reports are integrated into the system. The new system allows Samia-Kalantari to select the data and create the corresponding chart. The system represents a big improvement in the ability to manage and report the data. It also has been an effective tool for communicating and satisfying acceptability levels with the processor’s co-packing clients.
The software records, monitors and reports quality characteristics including pH, titratable acidity, titratable salt, viscosity, product and equipment temperatures, fill weights and torque on jar lids-depending on each client’s unique requirements. As a co-packer,
One client, who also uses Zontec SPC software, receives data from
According to Samia-Kalantari, the software is very helpful, especially for new products. The system allows him-after the first couple of production runs-to see the upper and lower limits, the spec ranges, the capability of the machines in mixing operations and the goals or targets for the process.
The SPC system’s charts and graphs are valuable tools that Samia-Kalantari uses internally during management meetings to convey visually what’s happening with the process, rather than showing raw data to the staff. Using fill weights as an example, it’s simple to prove if the process is creating under- or over-weight packages. Corrections can then be taken to bring the weights on target, improving the processor’s profitability.
The system has improved customer satisfaction, provided quicker reporting times and reduced paper records. It provides a system for
The three major areas of focus in food and beverage manufacturing are cost management and margin protection, more sustainable manufacturing focused on energy usage and waste reduction, and the improvement of food safety. To stay competitive, processors are concerned about quality product, packaging and manufacturing innovation. Since most processors have similar business strategies, flawless and timely execution differentiates the leading companies from their competitors, says the study.
Key automation products to help processors get control of their processes include enterprise asset management, motion control, laboratory information management systems, plant asset management, AC drives, programmable controllers, distributed control systems, process safety systems, HMIs, field transmitters and valves, process engineering tools, real-time process optimization and production management.
According to the study, the outlook for the food and beverage industry in 2010 will be moderate due to the global recession, changing consumer purchasing patterns and tightening budgets. The industry has been one of the least affected by global recession. However, the industry expects growth in consumer spending to remain at reduced rates into the foreseeable future. Information tools will help the consumer be selective in product purchases, and processors will need to use these tools to reach consumers.
“The information architecture is extending its reach all the way to the consumer by way of social networks and a new generation of truly virtual on-line shopping product customization tools,” says John Blanchard, principal analyst for the CPG industries. “It is becoming an important solution in the drive toward mass customization and has begun to change the way consumer-facing business is conducted,” he concludes.The study also looks at new regulations and global standards, emerging markets, urbanization, the Wal-Mart effect, new information architectures, ISO 22000/PAS 220, packaging and the supply chain, productivity initiatives, portfolio optimization and market and channel expansion. For more information, visit the ARC Advisory Group Web site.
Survey results showed that the FBP process manufacturers demonstrating these characteristics shared common capabilities, which include:
According to the study, those processors that have not yet adopted procedural practices to build formulas in a structured manner and optimize them should define and implement those best practices. Those who still use heavily customized spreadsheets and desktop tools to manage formulas should invest in a solution such as a PLM or ERP-with-a-PLM module that integrates formulation management and the automated management of the product development process.For more information, visit Aberdeen Group.
However, the incidence rate of Salmonella has remained about the same over the 10-year period, and the rate of Vibrio infections-typically caused by eating raw shellfish-shot up 85% compared with the first three years of CDC surveillance. Vibrio infections, however, represent a small portion of the overall total of foodborne illnesses.
The only significant decline in incidence in recent years other than for E. coli O157 was for Shigella infections. Although some Shigella infections are transmitted by food, most are probably transmitted directly from one person to another, often among children in child care settings, rather than through food, says the study.
FoodNet conducts active surveillance for nine pathogens commonly transmitted through food, and it leads studies designed to help health officials understand how foodborne diseases are affecting Americans. The nine diseases include infections caused by Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella, STEC O157, Shigella, Vibrio, Yersinia, Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora. While the 2009 rates of most of the nine illnesses that are tracked through FoodNet sustained declines since FoodNet began in 1996, most have shown little change since 2004.
“The interventions begun in the late 1990s were successful in decreasing some of these foodborne diseases, but we haven’t seen much recent progress,” said Chris Braden, MD, acting director of CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases. “To make additional strides against these diseases and ultimately better protect the American people from foodborne illness, CDC, our federal and state partners, and the food industry will need to try new strategies.”
To optimally prevent foodborne illness, the routes of exposure to these pathogens must be better understood so additional targeted control measures can be developed. While known associations between illness and undercooked foods have been studied, recent outbreak investigations have identified novel food and non-food vehicles, including jalapeno peppers, peanut butter-containing products, raw cookie dough and direct contact with baby chicks, turtles and African dwarf frogs.
Following the 1993 outbreak of E. coli O157:H7, the federal government declared O157 an adulterant. It then implemented HACCP production systems, established FoodNet and PulseNet and set a goal of cutting O157 illness in half by 2010. PulseNet is run by the CDC and brings together public, state and local health and food regulatory agency laboratories in the
Led by ARS microbiologist Mark Berrang, a research team conducted tests for the presence of Listeria in a brand new commercial cooking facility before and after processing began. Starting with a clean slate made it easy to track sources of contamination for the team from the Bacterial Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Research Unit at the agency’s
Potential sources of Listeria were tested by taking samples of soil and water around and near the plant’s exterior, and by testing heavily-traveled floor surfaces following personnel shift changes. In addition, samples were collected and tested from incoming air vent filters and from monthly swabs of incoming raw meat. The facility was free of Listeria when it was first built. Floor drains in the plant were sampled monthly to determine when the plant would become colonized with Listeria.
Within four months of operation, Listeria was detected in floor drains, indicating that the bacteria had been introduced from some outside source. Of all the samples taken in the plant entryways, locker room, cafeteria and air vent filters, no Listeria was found. The only source that tested consistently positive for Listeria was the incoming raw poultry meat.
Quality assurance in the test plant was exceptional and included an extensive, proactive sampling plan to assure food safety. Sanitation, biosafety and product sampling protocols are in place to prevent shipping contaminated product.For more information on the study, Tracing Listeria monocytogenes in a Commercial Chicken Plant, visit the Journal of Food Protection.
A new method of melamine detection, developed by University of Miami College of Engineering Assistant Professor Na Li and her colleagues, reveals the presence of melamine in a product visually in solution as the color turns from red to blue. Spectrophotometric equipment can also be used to verify the test, which takes seconds.
Li’s new method, which has been published in Applied Physics Letters, is entitled “Rapid Detection of Melamine in Whole Milk Mediated by Unmodified Gold Nanoparticles.” The study develops a facile and accurate approach to detection of melamine using gold nanoparticles and a dual-color precipitation test. The complete detection method can be performed in less than 15 minutes.
The fist step is to separate the casein-based milk component, which can interfere with melamine detection. Next, gold nanoparticles are added to the solution. The interaction between the gold nanoparticles and melamine causes a dramatic color change of the solution within seconds, from red to blue, indicating the presence of melamine. Melamine can be measured both by visual inspection and spectrophotometry.“Our method provides not only an alternative method to the current lab based detection, but also a way for early screening of milk, especially for field work and for developing countries,” says Fang Wei, staff research associate in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, at the University of California, Los Angeles and first author of the study.