Despite an anticipated slowdown in the rate of economic recovery, leading indicators are still somewhat positive, and the economic upturn is expected to continue slowly this year, according to PMMI’s First Quarter 2011 Economic Outlook.
According to the Federal Reserve, October 2010’s
Other highlights in the PMMI report include:
By statute, health claims on food labels must have significant scientific agreement, but in 2002, in response to a court decision, FDA decided to allow qualified health claims with less scientific support. These structure/function claims refer to a food’s effect on body structure or function. In its study, GAO examined:
From 2002, when FDA announced its decision to allow qualified health claims on food labels-following a court decision involving its authority to regulate dietary supplements-through September 2010, FDA received 16 petitions from companies proposing 60 claims on food labels. After reviewing the scientific evidence presented in the petitions, FDA determined there was enough credible evidence to allow the use of 12 qualified health claims by modifying language to qualify the claims and characterize in detail the strengths and limitations of the scientific support for those claims. In overseeing qualified health claims for food labels, FDA has issued two warning letters to food companies-both in 2010-for citing health benefits that were not in the allowed qualified health claims or supported by scientific evidence.
Research showed that consumers find it difficult to understand the differences between health claims with significant scientific agreement and the lower level of scientific support for qualified health claims. Research also showed consumers find it difficult to distinguish among many different types of claims on food labels, including health claims, qualified health claims and structure/function claims.
FDA data indicate processors now minimally use qualified health claims on foods but more widely use structure/function claims to convey their foods’ health benefits. Processors’ use of structure/function claims is subject to the general statutory requirement that labeling not be false or misleading.
However, FDA has not given processors guidance on the scientific support needed to prevent false or misleading information in such claims when examining food labels as part of food facility compliance inspections. Even if FDA were to provide such guidance, structure/function claims pose a serious oversight dilemma for the agency. Unlike the FTC, the FDA does not have the ability to require processors to submit substantiation documents, says the GAO report.GAO recommends FDA identify and request from Congress authorities to access processors’ evidence for potentially false or misleading structure/function claims on food; establish scientific support; provide guidance to industry on the evidence it needs to support such claims; and provide direction to FDA inspectors to help identify claims for further review.
“We still see many reports that the number of consumers purchasing organic products is growing; our research does not support that conclusion,” says Dr. Kurt Jetta, TABS founder and president. “The annual incidence of these products has gone from 38.4 percent to 38.0 percent to 38.6 percent from 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively,” he adds.
“What is very interesting, however, is that there were big shifts in the outlet where consumers report that they most often purchase these products. The big winners were traditional grocers (41.0 to 44.1 percent) and Target (1.8 to 4.1 percent), while the losers were Wal-Mart (18.6 to 12.4 percent), Trader Joe’s (11.5 to 10.7 percent) and other natural foods retailers (6.2 to 4.6 percent). The total natural foods channel fell from being the most preferred outlet by 26.8 percent in 2009 to 24.4 percent in January 2011, a 9 percent drop.”
This was the first year organic chicken and red meat were included in the survey, and the reported purchase rates were 13.4 and 6.4 percent, respectively. The inclusion of these two categories, however, had only a modest impact on overall organic penetration, pushing the incidence from 38.6 to 39.8 percent.
“When we see a consistent penetration over three years combined with the fact that adding more categories does not increase that penetration, we conclude that there is a well-entrenched consumer base for organics. There is little hope of increasing that base any time soon,” says Jetta. “Any growth in organics from one outlet must, therefore, necessarily come at the expense of another channel.”For more information, contact Kurt Jetta, 203-925-9157 or visit TABS Group online.
The implementation of MOM in the
The Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated supply chain team had previous experiences with lengthy design-and-build projects, so it particularly liked the supplier’s packaged software functionality and rapid implementation capabilities. The supplier’s consultants initially performed the Factory Profit Audit, a CDC Factory benchmark study, which provided the Coca-Cola Consolidated team with a clear and focused project scope that was cost-effective and pragmatic. It also identified actionable recommendations.
“We especially liked how CDC Factory drives action on the manufacturing floor where our employees take ownership of performance and improvement,” says Steve Westphal, executive vice president, operations and systems of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated. “With CDC Factory’s capabilities of real-time plant intelligence, coupled with a change program embedded in the deployment activities, I’m delighted we have delivered a 2 percent efficiency improvement in 5 months.”
The MOM system allows users to make real-time, actionable decisions. It combines shop floor data capture, paperless quality management, packaged metrics like OEE, manufacturing analytics and executive scorecards. Pre-built continuous improvement capabilities, combined with an implementation model focused on business transformation, allows for a quick deployment.For more information, visit the CDC Factory website.
Recently, AJ Naber, Dorner Manufacturing senior design engineer, designed a retractable-tail metal detection conveyor for a frozen French fry manufacturer. “Based on the configuration of the existing processing line, a retractable conveyor was the best fit for this application,” says Naber. The conveyor primarily runs in the extended position, and as French fries successfully pass through the metal detector, they continue on the extended conveyor to a take-away conveyor. When the metal detection system detects metal within the flow of French fries, the retractable-tail conveyor pulls back and creates a gap to allow the product to fall onto a second conveyor for disposal, adds Naber.
While this was a fairly complex application, others can range from a basic stop-on-detect-requiring operator intervention-to varying degrees of complexity, says Naber. Stop-on-detect is the simplest and generally least expensive option available.
Nevertheless, many processing lines need more automation, which requires some type of reject mechanism beyond human intervention. Push-on-detect, air blast and diverter arms are some of the common reject mechanisms on metal detection conveyor systems, says Naber.
The area within the metal detector through which product travels is known as the aperture. Within the aperture there needs to be room to accommodate both the conveyor and the product, says Naber. Most metal detectors require a metal-free zone of approximately 1.5 times the aperture height. This constraint presents a challenge because everything on the conveyor system within this metal-free zone needs to be made from plastic.
The stainless steel conveyor frame also needs to be split to run plastic through the aperture and within the metal-free zone. “That’s why it’s important to properly size a metal detection system to the application,” advises Naber. “I recommend considering all supporting equipment including the conveyors and reject method when selecting a metal detector for a processing line. Think of the metal detector and supporting conveyor line as one integrated component.”
Selecting a metal detector with an aperture that may be too big for the product may also limit space where accessories can be mounted to the conveyor frame. “Remember, a larger aperture casts a larger metal-free zone around the entire system,” says Naber. And if the metal detection system is located in a fairly confined space, available space on the frame to mount the reject mechanisms may be limited. From an engineering standpoint, it’s always a challenge to make the system as sanitary and compact as possible while still achieving what the application requires.
“Ultimately any design we make needs to be safe, and often, safety and sanitation don’t go hand in hand. Ideally we want as little human intervention in the reject mechanisms as possible, so we’ll add various guards to eliminate access to dangerous areas. However, with every component that is added to the conveyor, you can decrease its overall level of sanitation,” says Naber. “It’s a balancing act. Our job is to design a metal detection conveyor system that’s very sleek, smooth and uninterrupted, but at the same time provides the highest level of safety.”
No two metal detection conveyor systems are identical. However, when specified properly, they can serve an integral role toward adding value and efficiency to any production line.For more information, contact AJ Naber, Dorner Manufacturing, 262-369-1258.
The authors of a paper entitled, “National security at the dinner table: Changes aim to align national security with food safety,” describe procedures taken at McCormick and Company to set a thorough food defense plan in motion. Bill Ramsey, McCormick & Company corporate security director, and Frank Pisciotta, Business Protection Specialists president, list several issues food processors need to consider as the Food Safety Modernization Act is put into law.
Some of these include food processing in a non-registered facility, a food defense plan for interstate commerce, minimum performance standards for food processing and shipment conditions, safety standards for raw agricultural commodities, new tracing programs to identify each person in the food chain who has come into contact with food, requirements for food tracing and certifications, and compliance with food imports into the US.
McCormick put in place a goal-based security plan rather than a risk-based system that may not cover all the potential risks in a security program. Using the goal-based security concept, McCormick’s team was better able to understand the security issues involved, define what results must be demonstrated to ensure the goals are met and establish appropriate strategies to address security issues.
To learn more about the measures taken by McCormick, read the entire article, which appears on the FE website.For more information on setting up a food defense program, contact Frank Pisciotta, Business Protection Specialists, 919-758-8058.
Increased salt produces elevated blood pressure and increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney disease. Elevated blood pressure is a major public health problem-approximately 90 percent of all Americans will develop hypertension over their lifetime, according to AHA.According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the average American adult consumes 4,000 mg of salt per day. “Without question, the amounts of salt used in packaged and restaurant foods make it the deadliest ingredient in the food supply,” says Michael Jacobson, CSPI executive director. Jacobson would like to see the new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans list salt with a 1,500 mg target instead of the current figure of 2,300-mg.