Many food processors are turning to wireless automation to improve the efficiency and interoperability of the plant’s control systems. This method of automation architecture offers significant cost savings in engineering and installation, while providing more flexible access to data for monitoring and analysis.
High pressure processing (HPP) is gaining popularity among food manufacturers as a method that induces a pasteurizing effect on packaged food without subjecting the products to thermal energy. The recent explosion of the health and organic markets is partially responsible for the increased acceptance of this natural and environmentally friendly process.
Any food or beverage plant facility that uses clean-in-place (CIP) technology to clean tanks, piping or product lines without disassembly three to seven times a week should implement a reuse design, provided cross-contamination is unlikely. Here are four reasons why:
Cross-contamination of allergen products can have dire consequences for a food plant. Some of the food industry’s most common ingredients – milk, eggs, peanuts/tree nuts, fish/shellfish, soy and wheat – represent 90 percent of food allergens.
Larger food processors have the financial resources to dedicate separate production lines to products with allergenic ingredients. Small processors, and those with multiple products on a production line, face a more difficult task of controlling potential cross-contamination.
While designing a new food processing production line or adding to a line, there are a number of factors to consider when outlining equipment specifications, including product run rates, packaging format, temperature and many others. Plant managers often turn to different vendors to provide different components, but it is essential to have standardized equipment to improve efficiency, production, sanitation and aesthetics.
Inappropriate or incompatible equipment can mean loss of production time and loss of income. Whether you’re adding a single piece of equipment or designing a full production line from scratch, detailed, standard requirements should be communicated among the entire team participating in the design process.
Many food companies are transitioning to eco-friendly packaging as a way to preserve the environment and to appeal to environmentally conscious customers. The options available in eco-friendly packaging and the benefits companies can reap by going green make it an easy, smart transition.
Types of eco-friendly packaging:
- Plastics or bio-plastics made from corn, potato or other annually renewable sources that are compostable and biodegradable
- Bio-compostable plastic and paper products, which disintegrate and biodegrade completely and safely when composted in a municipal or commercial facility
- Bio-degradable materials that decompose, usually by bacteria or sunlight, into original organic components within a reasonably short period of time
- Recycled content — materials that have been recovered or diverted from the solid waste stream. Most plastics (PETs, PEs) are classified as recycled content.