Food & Beverage Asia Feb/Mar 19

PROCESSING AND PACKAGING 52 FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA FEBRUARY / MARCH 2019 F ood allergies are one of the most serious forms of allergic reaction, with symptoms ranging from very mild to severe anaphylaxis. There are over 170 foods known to provoke allergic reactions, with the most common found in everyday sources such as milk, eggs, shellfish, wheat, nuts, seeds, fruit and soya. A major challenge facing manufacturers is how to handle an ever increasing portfolio of products which use a diverse range of ingredients including allergens, all within the context of reducing manufacturing costs, minimising product waste and achieving superior product quality and safety for the consumer. Even small traces of the allergen can cause a reaction, so strict controls and regulations need to be present from the source, throughout manufacturing and on to the point of sale to ensure the total integrity of the final product. Guaranteeing food safety is becoming increasingly difficult in the context of changing food habits and globalisation of supply. The World Health Organisation is promoting efforts to improve food safety from farm to plate, whilst the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) system identifies where hazards might occur in the food production process and puts into place stringent actions on prevention. Whether you trace your ingredients back as far as the field or take the strictest approach to product integrity, the manufacturer remains responsible for the product sold to the consumer. A contaminated product can cause sickness for the consumer (or at its worst, death), significant financial losses for the company along with long term reputational damage. Increasing Challenges Regulation and the integrity of suppliers is changing as Food Allergens used as ingredients or processing aids must be declared on food packaging – with 14 now recognised. There remain, however, gaps in the acceptance of thresholds required at consumer, regulator and retailer levels. It therefore becomes a question of integrity. HANDLING ALLERGENS THE RIGHT WAY Proper control of food allergens in manufacturing plants is crucial to the success of businesses in the F&B industry. Powder handling expert, Matcon shares how to best guarantee food safety as well as optimise production with the right solutions. By Mr. David Newell , General Manager and Business Development Director, Asia-Pacific Region, Matcon