This article in Food Navigator
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which covered a range of interesting issues in food colouring including the relation between depth of colour and the perception of sweetness, the real danger of some colourants of 100 years ago, the move to natural colours and the fact that colours often need to compensate for the effect of processing on a foods colour also linked to am15 page article in Critical Reviews with a more comprehensive view and a focus on history and regulation.
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So take some time to get up to date on food coloring with this free online information.
I think I'm posting this story more for the beautiful webpage, copied below, than the technology story – who said food science was dreary? The beautiful colours alongside the clinical structures is appealing. Lets not worry that it's about flavours not colours!
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In seriousness, the scientists have been evaluating thousands of flavours. With around 2500 already approved and these 7 being banned for human use. The 7 substances which are mainly natural compounds from plant sources, have been used in the food industry for many years. The affected parties, such as flavour manufacturers, note that there are no negative effects evident from their moderate consumption over the years.
This manual prepared by the Grocery Manufacturers Association is available online for free download.
This 150 page book is very detailed and focusses almost exclusively on safety.
I’ve recently come across images and videos of processing outside and started wondering how this is controlled and how the products of such processing are accepted by countries with strict import quality standards. Here’s an example of a chili drying operation in West Africa.
My first INTERNET search was not that productive. Do any of you have links or contacts I could follow up on to try and get an understanding which I would publish here.
First things that come to mind are:
Rooibos had a major quality problem some years back, that the story goes was caused by birds flying over their drying area
All that high cost, nutritious, organic, sun dried fruit is dried in the open
Indoor processors often wear gloves, overalls, hats and even masks while outdoors the food is exposed to whatever is there
Not even the term used is very clear some Chinese processors talk of Garden Factories, engineers use open processing and open air processing also applies to food markets.
So how do these fit together and what else is processed in the open? I would be interested to hear from any of you who have information to offer.
This 80 plus page book by the World Health Organisation lays out the process of establishing HACCP management in a Food Service environment.
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The first question is whether a manual on Food Service Will be useful to a food processor. The answer is that the process is identical whereever it is applied and that reading the manual written specifically about a food service operation improves the comprehension as we all know the principles of cooking. Other manuals either present information theoretically or choose a manufacturing process you may not understand.
The book is clearly and simply written and covers all the necessary information.
This document entitled “Cost-effective management tools for ensuring food quality and safety”is actually the instruction manual for training designed for small and medium agroindustrial enterprises.
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The specific objectives of the course which is expected to take at least 40 hours are
Identify the characteristics and usefulness of some basic tools for collecting,
processing and analysing market information.
Present the sequence of steps to be followed for market research and
Emphasize the importance of a proactive approach to quality and safety
within the agro-industrial enterprise.
Review the tools and systems available for improved food quality and safety
assurance throughout the agrifood chain.
Illustrate the principles of product traceability and its importance as a
support tool in quality and safety improvement programmes.
Underline the importance of quality management for implementing initiatives
to improve product quality and safety.
Outline the use of planning principles as a tool for improving quality and
Although written as the structure on which trainers can write their course, there is a wealth of good information in here. The information on marketing, market reseal and planning is very detailed but simply and clearly explained.
Sections on improving quality and safety, implementing quality management in small enterprises and management of the process are equally useful.
While it is true that the food quality requirements that will apply to your business are a function of your consumer and the local regulations, this manual written for Romania within the context of the EU market, offers a very useful view of food hygiene and safety for small processors.
The manual consists basically of the answers to 23 frequently asked questions, that cover a wide range of topics. It also presents the range of regulation and where to source them, gives an example of an application form and label information.
It also 3 issues that guide how a small business would approach having for the first time to apply regulation in their business.
1. The small producer is responsible for the health of those who consume his products. The two main principles are food hygiene and food traceability.
To continue selling your food, you must fulfill certain food safety rules, which include: registration, and meeting production standards
2. The new regulations are simplified for small producers, especially in areas with specific geographical disadvantages.
Small producers do not need to meet the same production standards as industrial producers. This is EU and Romanian Government policy, to help small producers survive:
• the authorities will be flexible as regards the utensils and safety measures which are imposed on small producers, as long as they meet minimum food hygiene conditions
• requirements will be adapted in order to support traditional production methods and to support producers in areas with specific geographical disadvantages.
3. Funding and free advice are available to help small producers to meet their new obligations, to continue their activities and to prosper in the EU.
Together these form a system under which small processors who were previously not covered by hygiene regulations can enter the formal system.
This article comments on the possible dangers of nano technology in cosmetics in a simple and understandable way.
The argument is that nano particles could penetrate the skin and enter the body passing into organs where there accumulation could cause problems. The argument is that this might even be true for very small particles of material we already know.
Companies are already using nano technology to move gold and silver particles into the small structures of the skin claiming that they carry no risk. However, there are others who point out that there is no proof of safety and a wait and see attitude should be used.
I would support this in food – its already complex enough lets not further complicate it before we are sure of nano technology’s consequences.