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From: Food Quality & Safety Magazine, August/September 2010

Features

The Peanut Butter and Pistachio Paradox

Ensuring quality in the food manufacturing supply chain

We’ve all heard the reports. “Peanut Recall Sparks Large-Scale Food Safety Concerns.” “Pistachios-Salmonella Link Probed.” “Fears of Tainted Spinach Sweep the Nation.”

Pest Control: Past and Present

Over time, pest control has undergone a sea change

In today’s climate of heightened food safety scrutiny, it is hard to believe that not so long ago, attitudes about what constituted a hygienic processing environment were very different. This is especially true for pest management practices. Only a little more than 70 years have passed since Congress enacted the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 (FD&C Act), and a little more than 100 years ago, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle opened America’s eyes to what was happening in meat...

Sustainability for the Long Haul

It's good for the environment and your bottom line

Sustainable manufacturing and processing, which reduces raw materials waste and minimizes refuse, is more than a passing trend for companies both large and small during this economic recession. As companies using such practices see it, sustainability attracts consumers. But more fundamentally, it is good for a business’s bottom line.

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News

Developing Food for Earth and Space

Advanced food technology at work under extreme conditions

Novel processes utilized in food safety programs at both the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Advanced Food Technology Project were discussed at the July 2010 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo in Chicago. Presented at the same symposium, two commonalities emerged for these seemingly disparate environments: The loss of personnel to foodborne illness may jeopardize a mission, and food...

Initial Reportable Food Registry Numbers Released

Over 100 food safety reports submitted by industry in first seven months

The initial findings of the Reportable Food Registry, presented via teleconference in late July, revealed 125 primary reports regarding incidents affecting food safety. “We’re putting out this report [now] so that the public can know what we’re learning,” said Michael R. Taylor, JD, Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “Over time, we hope that this will build a body of information that can be useful for tracking trends and understanding...

Antibacterial Paper Could Extend Shelf Life

May also cut rates of foodborne illnesses

A new paper that inhibits the growth of bacteria in food products could extend product shelf life and protect consumers from bacteria-causing foodborne illnesses. Overcoming the concerns associated with earlier antibacterial materials, this paper is nontoxic, environmentally friendly, and low in cost. The relatively simple processing of this antibacterial material suggests it may be commercially viable for food packaging methods in the near future.

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Departments

Product Spotlight

High Performance Metal-Detection System; SW Super Washdown Scales; Stainless Steel Mat Top Conveyor; PCR High Throughout Protocols; Hydraulic Patty Former; PetroOXY Rapid Oxidation Stability Tester; New FT-NIR Spectrometer; Lab-Elite Certified Reference Material; X4 800XL X-ray System; MaxiPlus Rotary Brushes, Pad Drivers and Hardware; Vertical Storing Leveler

Sustainability Certifications for Food Manufacturers

Third party certification can help prevent ‘greenwashing’

As sustainability gains momentum throughout the food industry, we’re seeing the increasingly popular use of ecolabels and certifications like organic, Marine Stewardship Council, and Pesticide Residue Free by primary producers. Third party certifications provide a valuable and credible way for these businesses to tell potential customers about their sustainability efforts. While most current certifications focus on primary producers, third party verification can also play a valuable role in advancing...

Reduce Water Usage, Eliminate Excess Waste

Intelligent process cooling can reduce water use by up to 98%

The food and beverage processing industry is known as the largest industrial user of water, consuming up to 20,000 gallons of water per ton of product, according to the North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance. And, with over 17,000 food and beverage processors in the United States alone, curbing this dependence on a community’s clean water supply is a top concern.

Safety, Traceability in Food Manufacturing

Reduce your risk of becoming a recall statistic

The volume and severity of food recalls in recent years are enough to scare any consumer away from grocery aisles and frighten any food manufacturer into thinking that its product might be next. The industry got a taste of that reality with the massive recall of Salmonella-contaminated products made with peanuts originating from the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). By March 2009, the recall included more than 3,200 products, with the number rising daily. Then, just as the dust seemed to settle, a...

Track, Trace Technology Drives Business Improvements

These tools increase efficiency, cost savings, and quality control

The food and beverage manufacturing industry faces challenging market conditions on multiple fronts: product safety requirements, razor-thin margins, unique customer orders, and constantly varying stock keeping units. To meet such challenges, manufacturers turn to tracking and tracing tools. Capable of tracking materials and products within a single plant or throughout a network of plants, these tools have the potential to provide a complex range of benefits and competitive advantages. While tracking and...

Detecting Polycylic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Food

Dedicated GC columns offer more accurate compound reporting

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest in U.S. history, has raised awareness of a food safety issue, namely contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In the future, analytical testing for PAHs in fish, crustaceans, and bivalves will undoubtedly become a routine procedure for many laboratories. PAH exposure, through either environmental pollution or contaminated foodstuffs, and its effects on human health have been the topic of many scientific studies. The recent oil spill again focuses...

Addressing Food Authenticity Challenges

Analytical methods are critical for reliable food authentication

Consumers around the world are increasingly demanding information on and reassurance of the origin and content of their food. In addition, food manufacturers must provide and confirm the authenticity and point of origin of food products and their components. These increased demands come amid legislative and regulatory pushes that increase the complexity and level of regulation imposed on the food supply worldwide. Protecting consumer rights and preventing fraudulent or deceptive practices such as food...

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Columns

It’s Not Easy Being Green

On the first season of “Sesame Street” in 1970, the soon-to-be cultural icon Kermit the Frog sang the immortal line, “It’s not easy being green.” Kermit was of course referring to the difficulties of being a small green creature. But the difficulties involved in being green are quite familiar to most industries, including food manufacturing.

IFT and IAFP Deliver Knowledge

As I contemplate my topic for this issue’s column, Labor Day is around the corner and I’m reflecting on this summer. Where did it go? What did I learn? How do I use this summer’s life experiences to my advantage?

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