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From: Food Quality & Safety Magazine, December/January 2010

Features

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Safety Challenges Remedied With New Technology

An automated traceability system offers proof of control

Some things never change. In the food industry, the need to ensure the safety of all products is one of those things. With the rising number of large-scale food recalls, diminishing consumer confidence, and increasing scrutiny from regulators and the food industry marketplace itself, the need to ensure the safety of the domestic and global food supply, coupled with demands for brand-protection assurance, have never been greater.

Food Science Focus Evolves as Enrollment Thrives

Food science departments see an increase in applications

In the 1980s, the microwave oven prompted the creation of new food products, and in the 1990s and early 2000s, consumers’ desire to prepare their food in seconds prompted the creation of off-the-shelf, ready-to-eat products. These trends demonstrate how food science has been influenced by the times.

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News

Making Ice Cream 'Functional'

Research aims to add nutrients but keep the good taste

Eating ice cream makes millions of people happy, so why not sprinkle in more healthful ingredients? That’s exactly what scientists at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources are doing in early experiments to add fiber, antioxidants, and probiotics to ice cream.

Laser Etching Safe for Labeling Fruit

Research finds technology does not promote decay, water loss

Fruit can retain its quality and remain tamper free with a laser-labeling system that etches information for biosafety and traceability directly on the peel, new research shows.

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Departments

Product Spotlight

Wide-Mouth Polyethylene Terephthalate Containers; PetroOxy Oxidation Stability Tester; Flexible Freezer; Four-Hole Patty Former; Multipaq21 Data Logger; Flumequine Analysis for Food; Advanced Nanofiber Filter Cartridges; Optiquad Inline Protein Analysis Unit; CM9400 Canweigh Checkweigher; Saniflo Drum Unloader System; Twenty-Five Watt Fluorescent Lamps

Automated HACCP Can Improve Safety

It can also improve performance and profitability

The food processing industry has done an incredible job of building new industrial automation systems to improve overall production processes, reduce time and cost of production, and increase overall throughput, product yields, and efficiency. In the past 18 months, however, the industry has seen an unprecedented number of supply chain safety and quality failures.

The Case for Product Protection at the Dock

On the loading dock, use the proper equipment to maintain a clean, temperature-controlled environment

Quality is no longer just “job one,” as a popular automaker once touted. Quality is, for food manufacturers, their lifeblood. Whether it is a cold storage or dry warehouse facility, maintaining a clean, temperature-controlled environment that is ideally suited to keeping products fresh can be challenging without the proper equipment.

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Columns

Fight Pathogens and Microbes in Processing Areas

Following strict equipment cleaning and sanitizing regimens cuts safety risks

Purchasing new or used equipment that adheres to the 2005 Food Code’s criteria and has National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) approval gives you a chance to properly clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces in your facility. No matter who approves the equipment, if you do not sanitize properly, the food safety risk will remain huge for your operation and your customers. We will now concentrate on some critical equipment sanitation issues.

The FDA Shifts From Food Safety to Public Safety

The agency's new approach appears to be more proactive

In recent years, food-related illnesses followed by highly publicized product recalls have created concerns that food product regulation in the United States is inadequate. The food industry has a complex regulatory structure, divided among many federal, state, and local authorities, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) handling almost all federal food inspections other than meat products.

Controlling Pests Requires Staff Participation

Work with a pest management professional to train staff

In any food processing plant, a pest management program is only as strong as the employees who implement it. To ensure a successful pest management program, the staff should be given training about prevention of pest problems before they occur. Not only does this serve as a low-cost training opportunity in a stressed economy, but it also can save money long-term by preventing pest problems that would require costly remediation.

Outsourcing Sanitation a Smart Alternative

Outsourcing can yield cost savings, improved quality

After a string of high-profile nationwide foodborne illness outbreaks in 2009, food safety reform is a high priority for legislators and consumers alike. Big changes are on the horizon to overhaul the federal agencies that ensure that consumers are protected against the bacteria and disease that contaminate food and threaten overall security.

Editor's Letter

Be a Learner

These are times of change. The economic turmoil of the last 18 months has shaken global confidence, and many wonder what the future will bring. It has also been a challenging time for the food industry. Numerous food recalls and scandals in this country and other parts of the world have led people to question things that were once unassailable, such as the quality and safety of their food.

Send a Strong Message

Last week a colleague forwarded an eNewsletter to me that jogged my memory. I just can’t believe it’s true. During a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions food safety hearing on October 22, Freshman Senator Al Franken asked Margaret Hamburg, MD, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) commissioner, about the status of the criminal prosecution of Peanut Corporation of America (PCA).

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