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From: Food Quality & Safety Magazine, October/November 2008

Features

Packaging for a Better Planet

Swedish innovations at the forefront of sustainable packaging

Food production often has the heaviest environmental impact on the life cycle of food; measures that can be taken to reduce food losses are therefore important. In the retail and consumer sections of the life cycle, packaging plays a key role in reducing food spoilage and loss. Packaging can take a number of forms—from the cartons and bottles food is delivered in, to the packaging used to transport food to stores, to the bags we use to bring food products home. Appropriate and sustainable packaging...

Answering to a Higher Authortity

Kosher, halal certifications bless the bottom line

“In God we trust,” printed on the currency consumers use to pay for groceries, is the mindset many are embracing when making food purchasing decisions. The growing demand for kosher and halal products is parting the waves to the supermarket with great force and fervor. Though not widely understood by non-devotees, kosher and halal are clearly among the most important and fastest growing trends in the food industry.

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Departments

Protect Your Product From Contaminants

Metal detection and X-ray inspection can help cut product loss

Today’s processing lines are complex and, increasingly, automated, making the detection of foreign contaminants in both raw materials and finished products more challenging than ever. Companies need comprehensive programs to ensure that contaminants never reach the consumer. Good manufacturing processes are an essential component of any overall program.

Go With the Flow

Approved European hygienic flowmeters gaining acceptance

In the food and beverage and pharmaceutical and biotech industries, contamination-free processing is essential for full compliance with industry validation standards. The potential for contamination in manufacturing applications increases with the introduction of peripheral components, such as flow measurement instruments, that help maintain process parameters within acceptable limits. To prevent this from happening, these devices must themselves meet standards set by governing agencies to ensure that...

LC/MS/MS Can Help Screen Cereal

Can be used for quantitative analysis of water-soluble B vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins, which are very polar, have poor retention on reverse phase columns. The presence of ion pair reagents such as heptafluorobutyric acid in the mobile phase has been shown to improve the separation and retention of these compounds. The drawback of using such ion pair reagents, however, is the high background levels generated inside the mass spectrometer (MS). Therefore, we have developed a rapid and sensitive method with ammonium formate in the mobile phase solvent using a column with...

Accountability Drives Food Quality

When lean Six Sigma intersects with statistical process control

Lynne Hambleton, author of “Treasure Chest of Six Sigma Growth Methods, Tools, and Practices” writes, “Decision making must be data driven.” Indeed, the lean Six Sigma DMAIC—define, measure, analyze, improve, and control—is at the heart of food quality because excellence can only be achieved through accountability.

Say Hi to Mom

How manufacturing operations management can keep your company healthy

Food processors have always lived in a world of challenges, and food prices have historically been volatile. But the unrelenting price increases over the last two years are troubling at best. Food prices spiked 4.9% in 2007, the biggest jump in 18 years, according to Time Magazine. Wheat and milk prices have risen to all-time highs. Soybean prices are at their highest level in 34 years, and corn prices have hit an 11-year peak. Rice and coffee are now at 10-year records, and meat prices are up by 50% in...

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