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Departments: Virtual Oven to Assist Baking Industry

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.

Departments: A Nice Match

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...

Departments: Create a “Closed Loop” to Ensure Quality

It was time for the plant’s yearly audit. The auditor was inspecting the plant along with the sanitation manager. After they were done with the walk-though, they went to the sanitation manager’s office to review the records.

Departments: Regain a Competitive Edge with Smarter Hygiene

Food processors and food retail establishments can invest in low-cost employee hygiene technology and deal more aggressively with hygiene solutions such as handwashing, clean hair, clean uniforms, produce sanitizing, proper footwear and effective glove use.

Departments: A Uniform Approach to HACCP

The federal government has made Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) the centerpiece of food-safety initiatives. The system is designed to identify, prioritize and control potential problems. Under HACCP, it is every manufacturer’s prerogative to rank the severity of the physical, chemical and microbial dangers in a process.

Departments: How to Avoid a… Total Recall

Recent major national and international recalls, coupled with post-9/11 regulatory initiatives, have placed the spotlight on an issue providing all the intensity of a Hollywood drama. The importance of accurate and efficient traceability of our food supply from farm to table has never been more apparent. There has been a surge in the development of systems that seem capable of working magic by generating an incredible amount of product and distribution information by inputting a small amount of data, like...

Departments: Effective Audits Not Just for the Big Boys

Success stories abound about quality assurance, food safety and sanitation at major companies like Jack in the Box, Tyson, General Mills and Darden.

Departments: Small Pest: Big Problem

Beetles crawling over counter tops, moths flying across rooms or caterpillars crawling up walls and across ceilings are all signs of big problems from small pests. To discount these pests as mere passersby would be a mistake, for the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” rings true with stored-product pests.

Departments: Omitting Odors in Organics

Organic food is one of the fastest growing food sectors in the United States totaling $15 billion in sales in 2005, according to Organic Trade Association (OTA; Greenfield, Mass.). During the last 10 years, increasing consumer demand for healthier choices has driven the industry’s growth, from 17 to 21 percent each year. In recent years, fresh foods have become signature departments for many natural foods retailers, with independent natural product and health food stores and natural grocery chains...

Departments: Beyond Eradication

In 1774 Swedish pharmacist Carl Wilhelm Scheele unwittingly discovered chlorine, but it wasn’t used as a sanitizer until 73 years later, in 1847, to prevent the spread of “child bed fever” in the maternity ward at Vienna General Hospital.

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June/July 2014

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