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QA/QC - Articles and news items

Real time monitoring under harsh conditions

Blogs, Z Homepage Promo  •  3 November 2016  •  Jeroen Knol, Director, EFFoST

EU funded researchers have developed a system to monitor industrial food processing in real-time under harsh conditions by three different sensors, demonstrating that the methods have commercial potential…

Intertek supports clampdown on UK E. coli outbreaks

Industry news  •  14 September 2016  •  New Food

Intertek is supporting the food industry by increasing capacity to offer faster E. coli and E. coli O157 testing from its UK laboratories…

Quality Control supplement 2014

Issue 3 2014, Supplements  •  23 June 2014  •  Vincent Baeten, Philippe Vermeulen, Juan Antonio Fernández Pierna, Pierre DardenneSatu Salo, Koni Grob, Bart Roodenburg, Monika Hohmann, Christine Felbinger, Norbert Christoph, Helmut Wachter, Ulrike Holzgrabe

Targeted to untargeted detection of contaminants and foreign bodies in food and feed using NIR spectroscopy, Quantitative determination of taurine in energy drinks by 1H NMR spectroscopy, and Quality Control Roundtable…

Advances in hand hygiene: Reducing contamination to food, people and the work environment

Issue 1 2010, Past issues  •  22 February 2010  •  Debra Smith, Research Manager, Food Hygiene Department, Campden BRI

The importance of hand hygiene in the transmission of infection in the medical field has been recognised since Semmelweis’s observations in 1847 that the implementation of hand washing brought about a reduction in the deaths of women from puerperal fever1.

In the food industry, links between food workers and the spread of diseases, including the impact of poor hand hygiene has been well established2,3. Additionally, the food industry has recently acquired a better understanding of the ways by which food products may become contaminated from environmental sources, i.e., via surfaces, air, fluids and people4.

The implementation of an Advanced Traceability System in a Polish fish processing plant

Issue 1 2010, Past issues  •  22 February 2010  •  Olga Szulecka, Sea Fisheries Institute, Gdynia

At present, food safety is one of the main priorities among European Union policies. The very significant element of food safety is traceability, i.e. “the ability to trace and follow a food, feed, food-producing animal or substance intended to be, or expected to be incorporated into a food or feed, through all stages of production, processing and distribution1.”

Article 18 of the main EU legal act in the field of food and feed safety – Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council – requires that “the traceability of food, feed, food-producing animals, and any other substance intended to be, or expected to be, incorporated into a food or feed shall be established at all stages of production, processing and distribution1.”

Detecting bacterial spores in soup manufacturing

Issue 3 2009  •  10 September 2009  •  A.C.M van Zuijlen & S.J.C.M Oomes, Unilever R&D; P. Vos, Check-Points B.V. and S. Brul, University of Amsterdam

Spores from mesophilic aerobic sporeforming bacteria (Bacillus) are sometimes able to survive the thermal process of commercial sterile products and sporadically cause spoilage or food poisoning. Because of an increasing demand for more fresh products, ideally the processing temperatures should be tailored to inactivate the actual spore load rather than applying worst case scenarios. In doing that, unnecessary loss of product quality can be prevented without running the risk that the product will spoil or cause safety issues.

The ISO 22000 series – global standards for safe food supply chains

Issue 2 2009  •  1 June 2009  •  Jacob Færgemand, Sales and Technical Director Food, Bureau Veritas Certification

The launch in September 2005 of the ISO 22000 series, developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 34, Food products, signalled the arrival of a truly global option for ensuring safe food supply chains. This article gives a technical overview of the different standards in the series and how they can be put to use.

To what extent do microbial enzymes affect the shelf life of food of animal origin?

Issue 2 2009  •  1 June 2009  •  Dr Peggy Braun, Institute of Food Hygiene, Veterinary Faculty, University of Leipzig

Increasing interest by consumers, producers and retailers in food safety, supported by several regulations of the European Commission (e.g. EC-regulation 178/2002; EC-2073/2005 amended by EC-regulation 1441/2007), gives accurate shelf-life determination of products a new consequence. Although there is rapid progress in food processing and new concepts such as predictive microbiology have found practical applications, differences between the predicted and actual shelf-life have to be noted. The reasons may be related to the wide range of reactions which cause food spoilage. According to EC-regulation 178/2002 (article 14, 2b, 5), spoiled products have to be considered as unsafe and as unfit for human consumption. In that case, food shall not be placed on the market.

Assessing the safety of genetically modified crops used for food and feed purposes

Issue 1 2009  •  20 February 2009  •  Gijs A. Kleter, RIKILT – Institute of Food Safety, Wageningen University and Research Center

In the mid-nineties, genetically modified crops (GM) that had been obtained through recombinant DNA technology were grown commercially at a large scale for the first time. The agricultural area that is covered with these crops has since then grown steadily, reaching 114 million hectares globally in 20072. GM crops and the foods and animal feed that are derived from them commonly have to be approved for marketing, for which they also have to undergo a safety assessment.

Training, education and capacity building in food and water safety and in nutrition

Issue 1 2009  •  20 February 2009  •  Leon Gorris, Senior Scientist Risk Assessment, Unilever and Yasmine Motarjemi, Corporate Food Safety Manager, Nestlé

This paper argues the case for increased awareness of the importance of training and competence in management of food and water safety, prevention of food-borne and waterborne illnesses and improvement of health and nutritional status. The challenge is huge as almost everyone needs to receive education commensurate with his or her role in the food chain and the assurance of water safety.

Food safety: no room for complacency

Issue 4 2008  •  3 December 2008  •  Professor Patrick Wall, Associate Professor of Public Health, University College Dublin

In the 1990s, a chronology of food scares, culminating in BSE, damaged consumer confidence in the safety of food, in the commitment of industry to produce safe food and in the ability of the regulatory agencies to police the food chain. These scares precipitated a review by many EU Member States of how they coordinated their food safety control programmes. Most member states now have Food Safety Agencies with consumer protection as their primary objective, rather than promoting industry and trade.

Energy, nutrition and the quality of breads; an overview of ‘EU-FRESHBAKE’

Issue 4 2008, Past issues  •  3 December 2008  •  A. Le-Bail and R. Zuniga, ENITIAA – GEPEA; T. Lucas, Cemagref; M. Sikora, University of Agriculture Balicka; C. M. Rosell, IATA-CSIC; D. Curic, University of Zagreb; T. Park, TTZ-EIBT; V. Kiseleva, Russian Academy of Science, IBCP RAS; M. Pitroff, MIWE; I. Van Haesendonck, PURACOR; M. Bonnand-Ducasse, BIOFOURNIL; M. Koczwara, BEZGLUTEN; V. Cerne, SCHAER R&D

The European bread industry is using refrigeration more and more to extend the shelf life of bakery products. The associated technologies, called bake-off-technology, allows the retail of freshly baked breads made from industrial frozen (and non frozen) products. Energy used for bread making, nutrition facts and quality of the final products are often interacting. Selected results taken from the ongoing European funded project ‘EU-FRESHBAKE’ (2006-2009) are presented, highlighting the coupling between product quality and process.

The holy grail of a single food safety specification

Issue 4 2008, Past issues  •  3 December 2008  •  Kath Veal, Business Manager Regulatory Services, Leatherhead Food International

Global regulatory food advice is one of the core areas of expertise at consultancy and research firm Leatherhead Food International. The regulatory advisors work within three teams specialising in United Kingdom, European (EU) or International regimes. Working with not only generic EU controls, but the detail of individual member states regularly illustrates the lack of harmonisation within Europe and our global coverage gives us a strong awareness of the challenge of international trade.

Quick shelf life prediction: TNO develops unique microbial genomics toolbox

Issue 4 2008, Past issues  •  3 December 2008  •  TNO, Food and Biotechnology Innovations

Consumers demand healthy, tasty foods with a fresh appearance and a long shelf life. To meet these expectations, the food industry has to be innovative in product and process optimisation. TNO has developed a unique microbial genomics toolbox that enables food manufacturers to quickly predict shelf life and design new preservation strategies.

Understanding microbial ecology essential for controlling microbial food spoilage

Issue 4 2008, Past issues  •  3 December 2008  •  Johanna Björkroth, Professor of Food Hygiene, Helsinki University

As a Professor of Food Hygiene, I have been teaching my students to understand the limitations associated with the determination of total aerobic bacterium levels when used for predicting food shelf life or as quality indicators. It is almost touching to notice how difficult it is to understand that the so-called ‘total bacteria’ actually consist of variable bacterial groups. It sounds so nice and simple to determine the total aerobic bacterial counts for estimating food quality.


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