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Articles by Topic - Manufacturing and Distribution
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Departments: Say Hi to Mom
Food processors have always lived in a world of challenges, and food prices have historically been volatile. But the unrelenting price increases over the last two years are troubling at best. Food prices spiked 4.9% in 2007, the biggest jump in 18 years, according to Time Magazine. Wheat and milk prices have risen to all-time highs. Soybean prices are at their highest level in 34 years, and corn prices have hit an 11-year peak. Rice and coffee are now at 10-year records, and meat prices are up by 50% in...
Departments: COOL Compliance Making You Sweat?
While debate and expectation regarding country of origin labeling (COOL) legislation have been around for many years, the recent veto override of the 2008 Farm Bill has created a renewed sense of urgency among food retailers, operators, and distributors who need to become compliant. That’s because the bill included a provision reinstating the mandatory September 30 COOL deadline for fresh produce and meat products.
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: 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: 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...
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: 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.
Here, primary research has been tied to the trends and purchase behavior of food processors to relevant secondary-research. This integrated view provides the equipment manufacturers with key insights into the requirements of their markets and customers.
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: Infrared: An Effective HACCP Tool
The heat is definitely on for food service operators to reach and maintain tight food safety standards. HACCP programs are all about controlling and eliminating hazards, and food temperatures—when, where and how to take them safely—are at the heart of the program. Fortunately though, hot and cold temperature measurement has gotten easier, faster and safer over the last few years. Infrared technology, as well as more sophisticated infrared temperature measurement techniques, can make a big...