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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.

Departments: Sample Prep Standards Ensure Safety

Consumers have never been more aware of food safety issues. A quick Google News search for “food safety” turns up headlines from around the world. In addition to the usual suspects such as botulism, E. coli, and Salmonella, consumers worry about pesticides and other chemical contaminants in their foods. Another fear is food bioterrorism. Just the mere suspicion of a contaminated product has far-reaching consequences for a food supplier. Because testing food samples (whether it is to look for...

Departments: Sort out the Best Methods for Foreign Object Detection

Foreign matter contamination is the main source of recalls and rejections and may lead to injury to customers, loss of brand loyalty, and large recall expenses. These undesirable additions differ from food groups and, depending on the type of food product, can be anything from stem stalks to bone fragments.

Departments: What's Your Line?

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s (USDC) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides a key service to the seafood industry in the form of the voluntary Seafood Inspection Program, which offers a variety of professional inspection services that assure compliance with all applicable food regulations. In addition, product quality evaluation, grading, and certification services on a product-lot basis are also provided. Benefits include the ability to apply the U.S. Grade A, Processed...

Departments: What Are Your Hot Spots?

As a result of recent food recalls, the government and the American public are paying more attention to food safety. Consumers can even receive e-mail notifications of recall updates through a service offered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Departments: MAP Your Food

The food industry continuously changes based on consumer demand and economic realities. Most recently, the industry’s focus has been on food safety, quality, and shelf life. One of the responses to these concerns within the food industry has been the increased use of Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP).

Departments: Protecting the Food We Eat

In June of this year, United Food Group, LLC, a Vernon, Calif.-based establishment, recalled a total of approximately 5.7 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground beef products produced in April.1 This recall was due to possible E. coli contamination following a notification issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Safety and Inspection Service.

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...

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June/July 2014

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