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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: 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: Streamlining Wastewater Treatment in Poultry Processing

With the steady increase in poultry processing rates, there has been a corresponding increase in wastewater pollutant concentrations. Despite mechanical improvements in wastewater treatment, many poultry processors continue to pay unnecessarily high fees for municipal water discharges. Michigan Turkey Producers (Wyoming, Mich.), a $100 million annual processor, in conjunction with Lyco Manufacturing (Columbus, Wis.), has set up a patented, state-of-the-art screening system for its poultry wastewater...

Departments: Creating Standard Operating Procedures

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are the mainstay of any manufacturing operations, chemical, mining, automotive, etc., but for the purposes of this discussion, the focus will be on food operations. SOPs differ from cGMP’s (current Good Manufacturing Practices) in that one comprises detailed work instructions, and the other is a list of “do’s and don’ts.”

Departments: The Curtain of Containment

The number of people, who have to be alert to what foods they not only digest, but also often just come into contact with, is sizeable. Food allergies of some type affect about 2 percent of the adults in this country. If someone does not have to deal with this problem, chances are they have a member of their family who does. Nationwide, 8 percent of children need to be wary about what they put in their mouths.

Departments: Eat, Drink and Take Control

Manufacturers in many industries depend upon processes for combining, separating or identifying chemical and biological compounds. Makers of pharmaceuticals, foods, beverages, chemicals, plastics and agricultural products mix or blend multiple substances during their production processes. Producers of oils, gases, and environmental substances often separate chemicals to ensure the purity of their process outcome. Even the homeland security industry must identify chemical or biological compounds.

Departments: Picky Robots

Swiss chocolate manufacturer, Chocolat Frey, is benefiting from an investment in a high-speed robotic line that copes with 40 different packaging formats every day. The new Sigpack Systems line, which consists of eight Delta Robots, has reduced manual handling at Chocolat Frey’s Buchs factory by placing chocolates into blister packs, which are then loaded into cartons.

Departments: Conveyor System Doubles As Quick-Change Artist

With the profusion of regulations, microprocessor-based equipment, formulation, testing and other issues, the last thing that food packagers need to worry about is good old-fashioned material handling.

Departments: Incorporating Safety Into Plant Expansions

Completing a facility expansion in this day and age should involve more than simply ordering new machines and increasing the number of orders placed with suppliers. In today’s manufacturing environment, facility expansion plans also should include a careful evaluation of production methodologies, including a thorough analysis of safety processes and procedures.

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August/September 2014

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