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Departments: Say Hi to Mom

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...

Departments: Clarity is Key to Packaging

Retail outlets, from large supermarket chains to small corner shops, are becoming more and more like walk in/walk out restaurants, with convenience foods, sandwiches, and snacks providing a high proportion of turnover. There are many materials available for the plastic containers used in food packaging for these retail outlets, each with its own performance characteristics.

Departments: COOL Compliance Making You Sweat?

While debate and expectation regarding country of origin labeling (COOL) legislation have been around for many years, the recent veto override of the 2008 Farm Bill has created a renewed sense of urgency among food retailers, operators, and distributors who need to become compliant. That’s because the bill included a provision reinstating the mandatory September 30 COOL deadline for fresh produce and meat products.

Departments: Get the Edge in the Race for Food Quality Gold

Cutting food service costs while maintaining high food quality, optimum customer service, and happy employees is a goal of nearly every food service establishment, from restaurants to retirement communities. Recently, Legacy Retirement Communities, in Lincoln, Neb., decided this was a goal they were ready to pursue. Now, with the guidance of national dining consultants Don Miller and Associates, Legacy’s dining services have cut costs by six figures, transformed a weekly resident pre-order approach...

Departments: Supervisors Critical in Retail Food Safety

Following safe food handling practices could prevent many food-borne illnesses associated with the retail food service setting. Although food service employees are educated about these safe practices, training does not always lead to compliance. If training does not motivate employees to follow these practices, what does? Unfortunately, there is little current data available on this topic, but researchers are working to change that.

Departments: Protein Determination in Cereals and Seeds

Cereals and seeds are significant components of the human diet and the principal part of feeding stock for domestic animals. One of the most important nutrients present in these is protein. Functioning as enzymes, hormones, and antibodies, as well as transport and structural components, proteins are required for the body’s structure and proper function. In addition to its dietary importance, protein content has become a guideline for some cereal trade transactions as well as a means to assess...

Departments: An Organic Enterprise

Last weekend, I stopped by my favorite coffee shop for a quick morning latte. I noticed the barista’s menu offered organic soy milk as one of the many ingredient choices available to enrich my coffee sipping experience. Perhaps even more impressive was the hastily handmade sign advising customers that organic soy milk was off the menu for the day due to unexpected demand.

Departments: Bye Bye Shoo Fly

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, there have been more than 20 food recalls to date caused by bacteria in 2008. To maintain consumer confidence, you must ensure sanitary conditions in your facility, and flies are a definite no-no.

Departments: Put Your Product to the Test

Food safety concerns have risen dramatically in recent years because of the severe consequences of foodborne illnesses. In order to assure product quality, optimize the efficiency and throughput of continuous processes, and comply with governmental regulations, the food industry must perform rigorous, real-time product safety testing on a regular basis.

Departments: Food Processing Technology Evolves

Welcome to the fast-paced world of food processing, a complex arena in which players must embrace strategic thinking to stay relevant and competitive in a demanding global marketplace. In this evolving world, several food-processing engineers are leading the way.

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June/July 2014

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