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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.

Departments: Be Ready to Beat Listeria

The foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes has remained a major concern in all food markets but is especially problematic for ready-to-eat (RTE) products. Its high level of morbidity—nearly 30% in those at greatest risk (pregnant woman, the elderly, young children, and the immunocompromised)—makes it a high priority in RTE plants.

Departments: What’s in Your Mug

Regulated chemicals show up in toys, food, and other places in our daily lives. Many of us start each day reaching for our handy travel mug for that first wonderful sip of caffeine. But do we ever think about which plastics went into that mug? Did the manufacturer who specified the design of the mug delve into the formulation of the plastic? What is the composition of the lid and the body of the cup? These questions may never have been asked. In many food packaging applications, these questions are never...

Departments: A Contract Lab Questionnaire

Finding the right outside contract laboratory is one of the most important decisions a food company must make. The laboratory you hire must be able to serve as a strategic partner to help your company navigate the many challenges of supply chain safety in today’s global economy.

Departments: All in a Day’s Work

What is this unknown material? What’s causing the off flavor in our product? Can you find the source of this off odor? Does my product contain pesticides or allergens? When such questions arise and unfamiliar problems occur, food and beverage manufacturers may need outside help to find reliable answers. For problems that can’t be solved in house, contract laboratories are often the answer.

Departments: Freedom From Allergen Risk

A quick review of product recalls and withdrawals in any given week reveals that allergens, and the need to declare their presence in foods, represent a massive challenge for the global food industry. In one week’s recalls in the United States, for example, inaccurate labeling resulted in the recall of sandwich rolls (undeclared milk), ice cream (undeclared almonds), salmon spread (undeclared egg), and ice bars (undeclared milk). No category of processed and packaged food is invulnerable to the risk...

Departments: Remote Control

Recent events such as last year’s Escheria coli outbreak at several well-known fast-food chains and in the California produce industry, which lost more than $100 million as a result of contaminated lettuce and spinach, have increased the level of skepticism being directed at food processors. While government oversight and public attention drive processors to adopt new food safety solutions, preventive strategies increasingly focus on new technologies that enhance process controls.

Departments: Get the 411 on Edible Oils

Edible oils are used in a wide variety of food products such as margarines, salad, cooking oils, mayonnaise, salad dressings, and confectioners’ coatings. They play a major role in determining the taste, texture, nutrient profile, and shelf life of food products.

Departments: Put Pest Birds in the Cage

When it comes to pests, cockroaches, rodents, or flies generally spring to mind. Birds are often considered a mere nuisance, although these feathered critters can jeopardize food safety and employee health; they may even affect audit scores at food manufacturing facilities.

Departments: Pathogen Can't Hide From Biocides

Over the past 10 to 15 years, industry and the government have sought intervention strategies to reduce general microbial numbers and, specifically, to reduce or try to eliminate all produce pathogens. The most notable recent produce pathogen outbreak, which involved bagged baby spinach from California, was caused by E. coli 0157:H7. This occurrence resulted in a multistate outbreak, leading the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to draft the “Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards of...

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December/January 2015

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