Process Validation - Articles and news items
Issue 4 2007 • 16 November 2007 • Susanne de Haar, TNO
Food production processes are continuously adapted under the pressure of marketing demands, the availability of new technologies, and to reduce production costs. However, poor awareness about critical aspects of new products and processes may lead to disappointing results. For example, spoiled or overprocessed products. “A structured process validation prevents such unwanted effects of adaptations and saves time, energy and money,” say experts at the Dutch research institute, TNO.
Control of production processes in the food industry has always focused on examination of end products. However, feedback of test results to the production process is generally not possible because it takes too long before the results of the analyses are known. Moreover, high numbers of samples have to be analysed to obtain statistically reliable results and inspection of end products only enables defects to be observed; it cannot establish their cause.
Because of this, analysis at the end of the process has shifted to control of the process by the introduction of GMP and HACCP systems. The use of a continuous, preferably in-line, monitoring system is necessary to make sure that the critical points in the process are controlled. This enables rapid detection and correction of slight deviations of process parameters yielding increased productivity and profitability. In addition, large margins that are used e.g. in heat treatments to prevent safety issues, can be minimised to improve quality aspects such as nutritional value and taste.
ABF Ingredients ANDEROL EUROPE BV Armfield Ltd Avantes Berndorf Band GmbH BIOTECON Diagnostics GmbH Cargo Oil AB Elea GmbH Engilico GLOBALG.A.P. Foodplus GmbH InS Services (UK) Ltd IONICON Analytik GmbH JAX INC. JBT Corporation LUBRIPLATE Lubricants Company NSF International Ocean Optics PCE Instruments UK Ltd R-Biopharm Rhone Ltd Randox Food Diagnostics Stancold SteriBeam The Tintometer® Group TOMRA Sorting Food Uhde High Pressure Technologies GmbH Verder UK Ltd Verner Wheelock Vikan UK Ltd