Process Validation - Articles and news items

Structured approach reduces production costs

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.

The quicker, the better

Issue 3 2006, Past issues  •  11 August 2006  •  MC te Giffel, NIZO food research, Department of Health & Safety, The Netherlands

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.


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