This is an interesting document from The International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF).
click the image to view the paper
This is a short (12 page) document defining the different food safety concepts, such as HACCP, ALOP, FSOs and POs, from a conceptual and strategic perspective. Seems to be worthwhile to give the processor an overall understanding of “why” not just “what”.
This is a video published by Tetra Pak, that describes research they undertook to establish whether the standard fruit juice pasteurisation conditions could be reduced to save energy while still guaranteeing shelflife and avoiding product “damage”.
They found that, for orange juice, the second pasteurisation could be reduced from 95C for 15 seconds to 80C. This reduces cost of energy for orange juice filling at 22 000 l/h over 500 shifts a year by 19% and carbon footprint by 20%.
They also found that the across plate temperature difference could be increased from 5 to 20C. This would have significant impact on the heat transfer surface required and hence the capital cost of the pasteuriser.
Over the past view weeks I have come across several rather focussed processing reports which I thought it was worhgwhile to share here in a simple form. I believe the image tells you what its about and clicking will open the document. The documents I link will generally be technology heavy although there will be there industry issues covered in detail.
One of the interesting exhibitors at Gulfood Manufacturing next week, is UFT who are promoting a Factory in a Box. While this seems to be an extension of UFT’s normal turnkey factory offering, it makes me think of a time in the late nineties in South Africa when container based “factories” were very popular.
This was driven in South Africa by an excess of used containers, Corporate Responsibility’s responses to the new South Africa and arguments of low cost, simplicity and portability allowing units to be relocated in the event of failure.
In my experience this didn’t work out as the excess of used containers was soon depleted, the costs of installation and modification where higher than predicted and relocation turned out to be expensive because of transport and service connection costs. Containers have fared better as retail or service outlets than as food processing facilities.
Research shows that the principle of an “instant”, prefabricated or modular factory that can be quickly installed on site is attractive. There are still many examples, including those developed by multinationals. This definitely needs to be borne in mind and investigated when new processing is being evaluated.
Click the images below to be directed to sites explaining the different concepts.
Researching this has been an eye opener for me and it surely needs some research and evaluation to make sure we are not missing something by “going it alone”.
A new label is set to make a contribution towards reducing the terrifying food loss which is estimated to be one third of what is produced.
The Gelatin Bump Label will give consumers a much more realistic view of the safely of food in the kitchen.
click the image to read the full story
The label works by mimicking the deterioration process with gelatin filled label. The gelatin characteristics and concentration ensure that the gelatin this in parallel with the food leading to the gelatin liquifying at the same time as the food becomes unusable.
Improved measurement of when food is no longer fit for consumption will in turn reduce the amount of usable food that is currently discarded because the consumer is not sure of its state and safety.
This is an ingenious device and along with temperature logging systems that can give a dynamic measure of remaining shelf life during the life cycle of the product and other ingenious measuring and monitoring devices could have a major impact on waste which should in turn reduce costs.
The only losers should be the Freegans whose food supplies will be reduced!
The video features the inventor of the lable explaining the device.
click the image to see the video
This turned out to be an interesting story and was reporting widely. Googling Gelatin Bump Label will introduce you to a range of articles many of which are very good sources.
The last several years have seen a marked change in the understanding of food loss across the complete food value chain which has come as a shock to many.
click the image to view the infographic
Solving the problem is definitely not a simple matter as many factors ranging from improved crops to household meal planning and supermarket shelf management to pest control will impact on the loss.
A recent paper called for a “move toward uniformity in date labeling, thereby decreasing confusion among stakeholders and reducing food waste.”
click the image to view the paper
The report identified Date Labeling Uniformity, Regulatory Enforcement, Consumer Education and Indicator Technologies as important focus areas. The paper presents information from a number of studies, the essence of how well or badly consumers understand date labling of food appears near the end of the infographic at the head of this post.
While the technological reasoning behind some of the Indicator Technologies being developed is sound, the work required to get the consumer to understand and use such technologies will need attention. If a temperature logger system is linked to a microbial growth model and used to predict the time to the end of a safe life understanding becomes even more difficult. Too much reliance on what the technology tells them may lead to consumers ignoring more traditional indicators of deterioration like acidity, smell and consistency.
So its an interesting time ahead. This might not be effecting smaller food businesses in sub Saharan Africa, but is interesting and helps the entrepreneur keep an eye on where it will need to move at some time in the future.
After the previous post which showed an industrial baking operation, here are a few videos that show smaller scale baking. The first is a slightly mechanised bakery that is producing standard non industrial breads.
The next video is of a small artisinal bakery – these are becoming popular where health, environment and simplicity are traits that consumers are willing to pay more for.
The third video, published on YouTube by Vincent Talleu, shows his love for the tactile aspects of baking.
Please let me know if you find these videos useful or merely a waste of bandwidth and I will adjust my posting appropriately.
Papers describing food drying techniques normally list the obvious contamination risks of drying in the open air as a major disadvantage and and based on this dismiss its application. However, the large volumes of food that are sun dried every year and the savings in energy and capital bely this quickly reached conclusion.
Searching the literature and regulations doesn’t give any guidance on the advisability of establishing a new sun drying business.
However, the two videos below show the large scale use of sun drying and the associated technologies applied at Cecilia’s Farm, near Prince Alfred in South Africa.
It seems that the critical point about the sun dried business they run, is that all fruit is washed before further processing and or packaging. Arguably this makes it comparable to fruit which is often not peeled, packaged salad and leafy vegetables. These are grown in the same environment and simply washed before eating.
The massive advantage of sun and to a lesser extent solar drying is that they produce shelf stable foods with minimal environmental impact and low processing and packaging costs.