Manufacturers in the food industry face a plethora of challenges today in managing their supply chain. Whether you’re running a global operation or working with local suppliers, you want to ensure a high level of quality for your finished product on a tight timeline. However, that task is easier said than done.

As the compliance dates for the Food Safety Modernization Act come into effect, the industry faces stricter regulatory standards than ever before. Manufacturers need to ensure that, not only do their own operations meet all regulatory requirements, but also that the ingredients from their suppliers are meeting safety requirements. If a manufacturer fails to comply, they could face legal action from the FDA or a product recall. Continue Reading

As consumers begin to pay closer attention to their health and wellness, they are also increasing their interest in the source and composition of the food they are eating. This can be seen in the 2008 book, by Michael Pollan, “In Defense of Food,” which offers several suggestions for healthy eating. One of the key rules informs readers, “don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce and your grandmother wouldn’t recognize.” Accordingly, a focus on short, simpler ingredient lists has become a major component of the trend known as clean label. Continue Reading

The nutrients found in foods provide our bodies with energy for growth and repair, as they are composed of carbohydrates, protein, fats, minerals and vitamins. Carbohydrates make up a group of organic compounds that include sugars and starches, while proteins are important for growth and repair, and fats or lipids can supply more than twice the amount of energy as carbohydrates or proteins. The amount of a given nutrient found in a food item can be determined using analytical chemistry tests. Continue Reading

In addition to routine screening for harmful pathogens, bacterial species identification and further strain differentiation play an important role in food safety and quality investigations. These methods can offer an immediate classification of an existing or new problem in a given facility. Additionally, the resulting data gives manufacturers the ability to track contamination strains and map the bacterial flora present within their facility in order to monitor raw materials, surfaces, finished product and overall sanitation effectiveness. Continue Reading

Maybe you’ve heard the buzz, or maybe you’ve even seen it on one of your favorite food products – the FDA Nutrition Facts Label got a major makeover. When we consider the brief history in nutrition labeling in the United States, this revision to existing regulations was long overdue. Let’s take a look at the history of the Nutrition Facts Label to get a better understanding of why these changes were much needed. Continue Reading

Remember in school when the math teacher gave you a problem to solve, and how you felt when your answer matched the one in the back of the textbook? Didn’t it feel great knowing you solved the problem correctly?

Validating the answer to grade school math problems carries the same concept as validating analytical methods. When scientists validate an analytical method, they need to show that it correctly measures the metric they’re testing for. To effectively do so, first they need to identify a product with existing results for the test they’re running as a control. Then, once the results from the test come in, they can verify that their results match the known answer, just like in school when you could check if your answer matched the one in the back of the textbook. Continue Reading

Dangerous attacks in the food industry occur frequently and are not always as high profile as you might think. Are you aware that, in recent years, many companies in the food industry have been affected by intentional attacks on the products they manufacture? The time has come for food manufacturers to ask themselves: what can be done to prevent tragedy from striking in your facility? Continue Reading

Coffee lovers in California could soon be jolted awake by a cancer warning displayed in all coffee chains, grocers and other retail store locations. While scientific studies have shown a “cup of joe” can reduce the risk of many diseases, including certain cancers and type 2 diabetes, scientists have also determined that roasted coffee poses a cancer risk. Continue Reading