Food Safety & Quality Blog
Mérieux NutriSciences is dedicated to helping companies worldwide find practical solutions to today's food safety and quality challenges throughout the supply chain.

The New GMO Law: 4 Takeaways for Food Manufacturers

Posted by Seth Keller

August 26, 2016 at 10:45 AM

female_scientist_look_at_plant_sample.jpgA majority of consumers find the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) debate complex and confusing, especially with regulations varying from country to country. With the growing push to eat more “all natural” and “organic” foods comes increased concerns about products that are manufactured with genetically modified ingredients, irregardless of concrete evidence that GMOs are either good or bad for human health.

After months of debate in Congress, President Barack Obama signed a bill into law requiring the labeling of food containing genetically modified ingredients on July 29th. To make more sense of the new law, below is a brief list of the main takeaways from the legislation:

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Topics: Genetically Modified Organisms, GMOs

What Mérieux NutriSciences Did This Summer: IFT and IAFP Post-Show Highlights

Posted by Pam Coleman

August 12, 2016 at 10:30 AM

summer_blog_3.pngWhile some dive headfirst into summer vacation, research scientists from the Silliker Food Science Center (FSC) dove headfirst into the “show season” by bringing their expertise to the 2016 meetings of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and International Association for Food Protection (IAFP).

Our multi-tasking research scientists manned our exhibition booths, met with customers, attended sessions on industry trends, reviewed advances in diagnostic equipment and presented results from scientific projects, many of which were conducted in collaboration with industry leading companies.

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Topics: Food Safety, Trade Shows, IFT, IAFP

FSMA and Imported Food – Will the FDA’s New Strategy Improve Food Safety?

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

July 29, 2016 at 9:30 AM

containers.jpgAll domestic and foreign food facilities that manufacturer, process, pack or store food for sale in the United States must register with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to recent government data, approximately 114,000 foreign food facilities exporting to the U.S. are located in more than 200 countries, and 19% of the American food supply is now imported.

The growing number of foreign food facilities and expanding volume of imported food is fueling an increasingly complex U.S. food supply chain. Imported food has been linked to several high profile food safety events in recent years and remains a significant concern. In fact, one of the core objectives of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was to ensure the safety of imported food.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), FSMA, Imported Food

The Importance of a Strategic Environmental Monitoring Program

Posted by Paige Krzysko

July 22, 2016 at 9:30 AM

brochure3_blog.pngEnvironmental monitoring plays an instrumental role in ensuring food safety at plant facilities. Product contamination is a leading cause of recalls and FSMA will soon require verification of preventive measures taken to keep food safe. Accordingly, companies should invest in monitoring programs to catch potential problems before products are released for consumer consumption.

To develop a comprehensive food safety program under FSMA, plant management teams need to determine the areas in a facility where hazards may exist, establish preventive controls and verify that those controls are effective. This ties directly into environmental monitoring because companies are strongly recommended to regularly collect samples from different areas of production plants, particularly in areas with potential hazards.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Safety Training, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Environmental Monitoring, Training, FSMA

Writing a FSMA Compliant Food Safety Plan

Posted by Paige Krzysko

July 15, 2016 at 9:30 AM

writing-1.jpgIn 2015, the FDA published their FSMA final rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food. The new rule states, “covered facilities must establish and implement a food safety system that includes an analysis of hazards and risk-based preventive controls.”

Said food safety system must include a written food safety plan. Food manufacturers covered by the rule that previously utilized the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) guidelines to establish their food safety system will need to take additional steps to adhere with the FSMA compliant Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC). The main difference between the two comes in the added HARPC requirement to evaluate potential hazards and implement measures to prevent them.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Safety Training, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), HACCP, FSMA, Webinars, HARPC

PDCAAS - What's This All About?

Posted by Sneh Bhandari

July 8, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Co-authored by Nick Price

IND_DAI_white_milk-1.pngTake a look at nutritional labels from different foods and you will see %Daily Values for most of the nutrients, but rarely for protein. This is because the declared amount of protein in products needs to be adjusted for its ability to provide us with sufficient amino acids.

In general, the %DVs declared on nutritional labels can either involve simple math or be complicated. For example, a serving of fluid milk with 300 mg of calcium supplies 30% of its DV, while peanuts with 35 mg calcium provide 4% of its DV. Both use 1,000 mg/day as the Daily Value. For protein, you must also factor in how well it is used by our bodies. Fluid milk containing 8g protein in a serving supplies 16% of its DV; however, peanuts containing the same amount of protein in a serving supplies only 8% of its DV. PDCAAS is the way to measure the nutritional quality of a protein.

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Topics: Nutritional Labeling, Nutrition, Protein, PDCAAS

Manufacturing Infant Formula Under FSMA Regulations

Posted by Paige Krzysko

June 24, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Baby_drinking_200_px.jpegInfant formula acts as a partial or complete substitute for breast milk in the early years of life, and as such must provide all of the necessary nutrients for a growing infant. Unlike older children who can eat a variety of foods for a balanced diet, all dietary needs for a baby need to be met by this singular source. A lack of necessary nutrients as an infant can have long-term, adverse effects on development as a child grows.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), FSMA, Infant Formula

Some Thoughts on the Value Proposition for On-Site Laboratory Services – an Insight for On-Sight

Posted by Steve Barnett

June 17, 2016 at 10:00 AM


lab_workers.jpgIn the continuous pursuit of providing increased safety and quality for products in the food market, oft-times companies are required to think out of the box. As part of this multi-dimensional thinking, growing numbers of food companies are weighing the options for integrating third-party on-site laboratories into their production process. To this sometimes complex question – “should we go third party, on-site?” – there is a very simple answer – “it depends.”

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Testing, on-site laboratories

Final FSMA rule targets intentional adulteration – Eight things to know about the new regulation

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

June 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM

fsma_blog_size_image.jpegThe seventh and final major rule mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was recently published paving the way for the full implementation of the law. The final rule for mitigation strategies to prevent the intentional adulteration of food, also known as ‘food defense’, imposes new requirements for foreign and domestic food facilities. Following are eight points to know about the ‘food defense’ final rule and a few notes regarding the related issue of economically motivated adulteration.

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Topics: Food Safety, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), FDA Regulation Updates, FDA, FSMA, Food Defense

Challenges of Feeding a Growing Global Populace

Posted by John Williams

June 3, 2016 at 9:00 AM

globe-2.jpg"The place that food occupies in the social and political scene on this planet is central; no individual, institution or country can afford to neglect it." -- A.H. Rose

Food safety and nutrition are major global public health challenges. By 2050, the world’s population will reach nearly 9.2 billion, 34% higher than today. The 5th Better Foods for Better Health symposium, organized by the Fondation Mérieux with the support of Mérieux NutriSciences, was recently held in France.

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Topics: Food Safety, Nutrition, Better Foods for Better Health, Public Health

ISO 17025: What You Should Know

Posted by Paige Krzysko

May 20, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Webinar.pngThe International Organization for Standardization (ISO) sets the international standards for laboratories that conduct tests and calibrations, as well as sampling. ISO 17025 certification offers a tangible way to guarantee to clients that a laboratory meets the requirements to successfully manage all aspects of sampling and testing.

The certification proves that a laboratory is competent in its technical tests/calibrations and is operating according to the ISO management guidelines. Obtaining the accreditation requires an extensive audit process of several different technical functions of the lab, including test and calibration methods, sampling, and handling of test results. Every lab function related to the test being considered for certification must be documented and maintained as part of this process.

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Topics: Education, Food Safety Training, ISO 17025, Webinars

FDA's New Views On What We Call Fiber

Posted by John Szpylka, Ph.D.

May 6, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Nutrition-Label.pngChanging Definitions
FDA is proposing significant changes to nutritional labels including redefining which carbohydrates can be declared as dietary fiber. This new definition would require proof the proposed carbohydrate demonstrates physiological benefits associated with dietary fiber. Until the carbohydrate is proven to have these benefits and is accepted by the agency, it would only be listed as a carbohydrate on the nutrition label. Once recognized by FDA as a dietary fiber, the label could then be adjusted to include this carbohydrate in the declared amount of dietary fiber.

Historically, the amount of dietary fiber declared on nutritional panels was the amount that was measured via approved AOAC analytical methods (notably 985.29, 991.43, and more recently 2009.01 and 2011.25). These methods measure the amount of carbohydrates that are not digested by enzymes found in the body.

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Topics: FDA, Fiber

Reports Raise Industry, Consumer Interests on Presence of Cellulose Levels in Grated Cheese Products

Posted by John Williams

March 11, 2016 at 10:00 AM

magnifying glassA February 16th Bloomberg News investigation which revealed that a canister of grated cheese, purported to be 100% Parmesan Cheese, contained 8.8% cellulose has thrown more lighter fluid on an already incendiary industry topic, food fraud and traceability.

The article resulted in a firestorm of coverage in mainstream and social media, with quoted industry experts citing that 20% of domestically produced Parmesan cheese may be mislabeled, largely due to fillers like cellulose in grated products.

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Topics: Nutritional Labeling, Traceability, Food Fraud, Parmesan cheese

FSMA Regulations to Watch in 2016

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

February 12, 2016 at 1:05 PM

EnviroMapThe Food and Drug Administration is preparing to make 2016 the ‘Year of FSMA’. Responding to statutory deadlines and mounting pressure to implement the landmark food safety law, the agency issued five regulations mandated by Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) within the past six months, and plans to introduce additional FSMA regulations in the coming months. Enforcement of several significant FSMA regulations will also begin this year. 

Although the food safety law was enacted more than five years ago, FDA regulations to implement the law have been slow to come. While several new requirements were rolled out with the law in 2011, the most significant regulations were first proposed in 2013.

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Topics: Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Regulations, FSMA

Marco Polo and EnviroMap®: An Apt Analogy

Posted by Brent Wallen

February 5, 2016 at 10:30 AM

EnviroMapMarco Polo was not the first European to travel across Asia during the Middle Ages. But by writing about his journeys in the “Travels of Marco Polo,” he underscored the importance of documentation in gaining credibility with the masses. The book was a wild success and inspired countless other explorers, including Christopher Columbus who made a very important discovery in 1492.

Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), companies are required to document the efficacy of their programs and processes to the satisfaction of regulators and stakeholders in their ongoing journey to produce safer products. Environmental monitoring programs have attained a sizable footprint across the food industry and companies are taking EnviroMap®, a comprehensive software solution for environmental monitoring, along for the journey.

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Topics: Environmental Monitoring, EnviroMap

How Will the FDA Nutrition Labeling Rules Impact Your Business?

Posted by Xochitl Javier

January 29, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Food SafetyMany of us are closely following with anticipation how the final rules for the FDA Nutrition Facts Panels will shape up. Speaking of final rules, FDA recently posted its annual regulatory agenda in which the agency provided insights on the status of various regulatory initiatives. As expected, the agenda affirms the agency's committment to completing rules related to food labeling. Without delays, FDA announced March 2016 as the date for final ruling. With the implementation of the ruling, over 700,000 food and beverage nutrition facts labels will need to meet new compliance standards. While many have debated the true economic impact -- with FDA estimating nearly $2.3 billion cost to industry -- there is no doubt that for many companies the process will be complex and time-consuming. In addition to relabeling, new package designs and packaging costs, there are additional considerations, such as new recordkeeping processes and very likely reformulations, for many companies. From greater label clarity for consumers to dire chronic health conditions in the American population, FDA has cited numerous reasons for the labeling changes.

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Topics: Nutritional Labeling, FDA Regulation Updates, FDA

2016: What You Should Expect From A Food Safety Provider

Posted by Kurt E. Westmoreland

January 15, 2016 at 11:14 AM

Food SafetyAs we enter 2016, the food industry is well aware of the requirements and expectations associated with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), as well as ever increasing customer expectations. Accordingly, it is only natural that users of external food safety providers re-evaluate their expectations of their risk management partners. When thinking about these expectations, a number of attributes should be non-negotiable:

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Topics: Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

Making Sense of All These Food & Nutrition Labeling Initiatives

Posted by Xochitl Javier

December 11, 2015 at 12:15 PM

Nutritional LabelingMenus Are Being Affected
Effective earlier this month, New York City became the first city in the US to require chain restaurants to identify high-sodium items on their menus. The New York city health commissioner explained the initiative is health related-  too much sodium can lead to various chronic ailments. How this will impact chain restaurants and menu entrees will be interesting to watch unfold. 

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Topics: Nutritional Labeling, Menu Labeling

Are the True Colors of Your Spices Shining Through?

Posted by Nick Price

November 20, 2015 at 10:05 AM

SpicesWhile public awareness over intentionally adulterated food products continues to grow, Mérieux NutriSciences now offers a screen for harmful dyes that are used illegally to enhance the color of spices and seasonings.

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Topics: spices, spice products

Understand the Upscale of Large-Scale Consumer Panels in Our Upcoming Webinar

Posted by Lana Buseman

November 6, 2015 at 11:30 AM

Sensory WebinarFor product manufacturers, it is important to understand how well your items are being accepted by consumers, whether they are new or updated products, or current products that are already available on the market. It is impossible, however, to interview each and every buyer about their likes and dislikes of a particular product. Well conceived and conducted large-scale panels help uncover important consumer insights into your product by gathering objective and subjective views from targeted audiences.

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Topics: Sensory Evaluation, Mérieux NutriSciences

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