The results are in for PLEX’s State of Manufacturing Report 2020, and they show the food and beverage industry is in many ways out in front of other industries in terms of adopting new technologies to maximize efficiency, competitiveness and profits.
According to a white paper published by the Institute of Food Technologists entitled "Food Research: Call to Action on Funding and Priorities," public spending on foundational research for both agriculture and food in the U.S. has been slowly trending downward since 2006 or so, while private R&D spending has seen a small increase.
Consumers around the world are frustrated with plastic. A recent study from Global Data says that 35% of UK consumers are more likely to purchase products without any plastic at all, compared to goods even with recycled plastic.
In an effort to allow FDA to sample water, soil and environmental conditions on USDA-regulated concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), New York Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand introduced a bill that would provide the FDA authority to conduct microbial sampling on CAFOs as necessary for a foodborne illness outbreak investigation, determine the outbreak’s root cause or address other public health needs.
While much of the work involving the standardization of communication in the overall food supply chain is finished, there is still work needing to be done regarding the standardization of IIoT sensor data. I asked Nenad Ivezic, leader of the Process Engineering Group in the Systems Integration Division of the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Engineering Laboratory, to fill us in on the particulars.
Food manufacturers and distributors are beginning to attach IoT sensors to shipping containers to track critical information about the temperature and humidity of the product plus ongoing location and shipper information.
The proliferation of various forms of date labels is enough to cause consumers not to buy a product with a short “sell by” date, leaving it to be junked at the store—or tossed prematurely at home—when the product is still perfectly fine.
In the May 2020 issue of Food Engineering, our focus is on safety. From emergency planning to day-to-day operations such as cleaning and sanitation, we bring you tips on how to keep your workers and your customers safe.