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From: Food Quality & Safety Magazine, August/September 2007

Features

Cool Technologies

Logistical and monitoring solutions can facilitate better cold chain management

Most of us can recount opening a recently purchased food product, only to find it spoiled. This firsthand experience underscores ongoing problems within the food supply chain that new technologies can solve.

Lower Risk, Boost Safety

Use vendor certification and continuous process improvement to manage your supply chain safety and quality

From ground beef to spinach to adulterated ingredients, the food industry has seen the huge downside of supply chain safety and quality failures. Food processors are faced with the continuing challenges of maximizing food safety while reducing production costs by improving throughput, product yields, and process efficiencies. Part of the risk equation is that the food processing industry has become dependent upon extended supply chains using multiple vendors.

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Departments

Fruity Identity

Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) helps identify unknown compounds in fruit extracts

Fruit and vegetable extracts are commonly analyzed using selective gas chromatography (GC) detectors—e.g., nitrogen phosphorus detectors (NPD), electron capture detectors (ECD), or dual flame photometric detectors (DFPD)—to detect trace pesticide residues in the extracts.

What Are Your Hot Spots?

Make your facility less attractive for pests

As a result of recent food recalls, the government and the American public are paying more attention to food safety. Consumers can even receive e-mail notifications of recall updates through a service offered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

MAP Your Food

New technologies for oxygen monitoring provide noninvasive, real time, passive, in-situ monitoring of the flush chamber/package

The food industry continuously changes based on consumer demand and economic realities. Most recently, the industry’s focus has been on food safety, quality, and shelf life. One of the responses to these concerns within the food industry has been the increased use of Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP).

Protecting the Food We Eat

Real-time information on production processing, inventory, quality testing, and operator accountability supports manufacturers with high quality delivery and product lot traceability

In June of this year, United Food Group, LLC, a Vernon, Calif.-based establishment, recalled a total of approximately 5.7 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground beef products produced in April.1 This recall was due to possible E. coli contamination following a notification issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Safety and Inspection Service.

Virtual Oven to Assist Baking Industry

Computational fluid dynamics model the distribution of temperature and air velocity

Many companies in the baking industry have come to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Food Research and Development Centre (FRDC) in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quèbec, Canada, for help in understanding what happens inside a baking oven. While it is not difficult to measure temperatures inside the oven, it is time-consuming and expensive to experiment with many different oven configurations to provide just the right temperature profile for a given product.

A Nice Match

Recent changes make the MES an ideal partner with ERP systems

In the early 1990s, manufacturing execution systems (MES) were touted as the panacea for shop floor management problems, promising to do away with “islands of automation” and to seamlessly connect the plant floor with enterprise systems. Unfortunately, the early MESs were too vertical in scope. There was an MES for silicon wafer assembly, one for chemicals, another for packaging, and so on, with dozens of companies specializing in finely honed products for vertical applications. This...

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