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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...

Departments: Crack the Food Chemicals Code

The Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) is a compendium of monographs for food ingredients from the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP). U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations specify that food and color additives must receive pre-market approval and that other food ingredients must be generally recognized as safe (GRAS). For clarity, we use the term food ingredients for both food and color additives and GRAS materials. FCC began in 1961 following passage of the 1958 Food Additive Amendments...

Departments: Infrared Technology Chips Away at Waste

It is no surprise that flour and corn food products, including tortilla chips, are so popular with consumers: They’re fresh and flavorful when served at your favorite restaurant or purchased from your local market. The high quality of today’s tortilla products is made possible by modern production machinery and processing techniques. New equipment enables manufacturers to improve the taste, appearance, and consistency of corn and flour tortillas, tortilla chips, flat breads, pizzas, and other...

Departments: Top Shelf Quality

Over the years, science and technology have led to a much better understanding of the underlying principles that make certain preservation techniques work. Some of the more common preservation techniques—heating, chilling, drying, salting, acidification, oxygen removal, and fermenting—have been in use for a long time.

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October/November 2014

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