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Articles by Section - Department: Quality

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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: 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: Mini Menaces

It only takes an area the size of a person’s thumb to produce thousands and thousands of fruit flies. One adult female fruit fly can lay 15 to 20 eggs in a batch and as many as 500 batches in her two-week life cycle. A few fruit flies can quickly multiply into an infestation.

Departments: Go With the Flow

Customer perception of food quality depends not only on taste, but also on physical properties, one of which is commonly referred to as “flow behavior.” Consider the following examples. Ketchup must pour out of a squeeze bottle easily and coat the hot French fries without running off. Cream filling in a doughnut needs to hold in place when you bite into it and not squirt out. Salad dressing is better appreciated when it coats the lettuce and vegetables and doesn’t run off into the bottom...

Departments: Incoming Quality Control of Water

Today’s modern food processing industries are heavily reliant upon water as both an ingredient and as an integral part of their preparation and processing functions. While in some instances the water used is further processed and treated by the food manufacturer, in many cases this supply of water is obtained from local municipal sources and under goes no further monitoring or processing beyond what is done by the local utility that supplies it to the end users. Unfortunately, in most cases little or...

Departments: Glass Packaging a Clear Choice

For generations, glass packaging has been trusted to store food, beverages and medicines. Glass has the staying power as a pure, sustainable package that’s healthy for the consumer and the environment. Made from natural raw materials – sand, soda ash and limestone – glass is impermeable and nonporous, which protects its contents from degradation and tampering. In addition, glass is chemically inert, which guards contents from moisture and oxygen, and ensures that the freshness and flavor...

Departments: Managing Allergen Labeling Challenges

The first article in this two-part series is focused on how enterprise business solutions can help food processors manage industry challenges around the current enacted regulations in the 2004 Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. This FDA legislation addresses better management and disclosure of food allergens in the manufactured foods we eat every day. In addition to regulations that are in place today, such as requiring disclosure of food allergens on product labels by manufacturers, food...

Departments: Supersizing with SPC

Statistical Process Control (SPC) was initially developed over 65 years ago by Walter A. Shewhart as a method to improve or achieve quality control in a manufacturing process. In this method, statistical tools like frequency distribution, histograms, scatter diagrams and Pareto charts are used to view and reduce process variation, thereby reducing defects and waste from the production line. Although SPC is a cost-effective and thorough method of determining and predicting significant deviations in a...

Departments: Incoming Quality Control of Water

Today’s modern food processing industries are heavily reliant upon water as both an ingredient and as an integral part of their preparation and processing functions. While in some instances the water used is further processed and treated by the food manufacturer, in many cases this supply of water is obtained from local municipal sources and under goes no further monitoring or processing beyond what is done by the local utility that supplies it to the end users. Unfortunately, in most cases little or...

Departments: Timely Performance Measurement and Analytics in a Demand-Driven World

As discussed in parts one and two of this series, perfect order fulfillment for the food and beverage manufacturer in a customer-driven marketplace requires excellence in both planning and execution. This includes being responsive to customers, while forecasting and managing continuous and unexpected change in both actual demand and supply processing, through all levels of the food and beverage supply chain.

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October/November 2014

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