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Articles by Section - Department: Quality
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Departments: Tracking Food Safety
U.S. food safety legislation is in the works to create a national food traceability system that would help to protect consumers from foodborne illness and would enable food manufacturers to increase their responsiveness and ability to participate in the recall process. The objective of the food traceability system is to find tainted food and remove it from the shelves as quickly as possible. If the new food safety legislation is signed into law, many participants in the food supply chain will be affected...
Departments: A Checklist for Vendor Quality Assurance
Large, multi-plant, and international food companies typically have the capital and technical resources to manage their supply chains. Many of these companies have one or more departments dedicated to evaluating, selecting, and monitoring their suppliers and associated raw materials. This is generally not the case for small- to mid-size food processors. In some cases, on-site audits of suppliers to smaller food companies are not economically or technically feasible.
Departments: Protect Your Product From Contaminants
Today’s processing lines are complex and, increasingly, automated, making the detection of foreign contaminants in both raw materials and finished products more challenging than ever. Companies need comprehensive programs to ensure that contaminants never reach the consumer. Good manufacturing processes are an essential component of any overall program.
Departments: Accountability Drives Food Quality
Lynne Hambleton, author of “Treasure Chest of Six Sigma Growth Methods, Tools, and Practices” writes, “Decision making must be data driven.” Indeed, the lean Six Sigma DMAIC—define, measure, analyze, improve, and control—is at the heart of food quality because excellence can only be achieved through accountability.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.