Quality control in food processing industry

Quality control in food processing industry

Food quality control in Food Processing Industry is generally defined as the regulation by law of food manufacture, distribution and sale, in order to prevent health hazards and fraud to the consumer.

Thus, it becomes a criminal offence to sell (deliberately or in any other way), adulterated, filthy or contaminated food.

Food is defined under the law as any article used for food or drink by man or animal. This is interpreted to include substances added to food which may have no nutritive value whatsoever, e.g., artificial colouring, condiments, flavour, spices and preservatives.

There are three main aspects to the application of Quality control in food processing industry:

The application of controls on food quality put a moral responsibility on the food manufacturer towards the consumer.The commercial aspect requires that standard quality products are economically produced.

1) moral

2) commercial

3) legal

And in increasingly competitive markets, it is important that produces exercise stringent degree of quality control on what they pro duce. The legal viewpoint demands that the quality of products conforms to na tional and international standards.

Fruit and vegetable processing industries produce very large quantities of products. Which are intende for consumption, often on a daily basis, by the population at large.

Such industries, therefore, have a special responsibility to ensure that their products are both wholesome and safe, as well as successful in the marketplace.

The control of food quality by law leads to:

(1) Improved quality of product.

(2) Achievement of greater consumer satisfaction,

(3) The promotion of quality consciousness.

(4) Increased consumption and sales.

(5) Employment opportunities for scientific and technical personnel.

(6) Avoidance of controversy and litigation in marketing at the national and international level.

(7) Promotion of national and international trade.

(8) Provision of the means for the intelligent comparison of prices in relation to quality and grade.

(9) Greater confidence in the minds of consumers.

The specific responsibilities of quality control assigned to a department or to an individual include:

(1) Standardizing procedure for sampling and examining raw materials.

(2) Development of test procedures.

(3) Establishment and implementation of quality standards for fresh and processed products.

(4) Setting up preventive quality control methods for in-plant liaison be tween manufacturing section and test laboratories. Examination of finished products.

(5) Storage controls.

(6) Recording and reporting.

(7) Special problems, including attendance to consumer complaints by lo cating their cause and eliminating them.

(8) Research and development into new products and their packaging.

The sequence of operations in Quality control in food processing industry is as follows

Quality control in food processing industry

(1) Raw material control

The principal aim in any food industry is to produce standardized products that do not vary significantly.

The quality of a food material is check in terms of its nutritional value, its purity, its palatability. If any of these properties is not optimal, the food quality is changes.

The definition given to a ‘raw material’ in the food industry is anything purchases by the manufacturer for direct or indirect use in food processing, Raw materials include: food ingredients, water, and packaging materials.

The quality of raw materials requires varies according to the material, the product to be manufactures, and the standard qualities desires in the end-product.

(2) Process control

During the actual processing, careful attention is given to the processing procedure. All treatments given during the processing are standardization, ingredients are uses in the correct amounts, accurate methods of preparation and mixing are employ.

Checks are made on the containers used to make sure that they are sound, and processing times and temperatures are standardized to make sure that the desired results are obtained.

A set of specifications is establishes by the technical staff in every factory to cover every product that is hadles.

It is the duty of the laboratory personnel to acquaint the production staff with the quality specifications and to evaluate pro duction samples for compliance with these.

(3) Inspection of finished product

Inspection or examination of the finishes product is carries out to determine to what extent the desired quality specifications have been achieves.

Although the purity of individual ingredients was determined earlier on, there may have been some contamination during processing.

The ability to withstand storage can only be confirmed on the finished product, e.g., in a cannery, representative samples of the canned product are taken for inspection.

Careful inspection is made of the external conditions of the can and distinctive signs looked for. A can where both ends are concave is said to be ‘flat’, this is considered to be good because it means that the vacuum inside is high enough to maintain the ends in a concave condition.

The cans which have the problem of flipper, springer or swell do not pass inspection.

(4) Sensory evaluation for quality control in food processing industry

After physical, chemical and microbiological examinations have been per formed on a finished product with a satisfactory result, the product is considered ready for distribution, but only after its palatability or sensory quality has been assessed.

The ultimate criterion for the desirability of a food product to consumer is its eating quality. Palatability or sensory quality is of great importance to both processors and consumers.

To the processor, a palatable product ensures sales because palatability attracts consumers; to the consumer, palatability satisfies his aesthetic an gustatory senses.

Sensory quality is a combination of different senses of perception which come into play in choosing and eating a food. The principal sensory properties which affect the palatability of food are as follows:

(i) Appearance. (ii) Texture (iii) Flavour

(A) Expert sensory judgement

Sensory evaluation (acceptance measurement) is generally performe by a panel. The members are training in order that their sensitivity and consistency are establishes by repeat test.

These tests determine the significance of variation of average scores and the contribution of individual quality characteristics to the overall quality.

A trained panel is generally forme to look after in-line quality, quality of the final product, process development and, to a limited extent, preliminary acceptance testing.

This small group of people work in the rigorously controlled environment of the quality control labora tory.

(B) Market testing

Market testing is carrying out to obtain the preferences of a sample of the public for whom the food product. An panel up of a number of men and women selectes to be representative of the population.

Their natural emotional reaction to the selected food. Such surveys are time consuming and costly.

They are, therefore, usually restricted to products selected through a series of laboratory tests and presented in their marketable form to a sample of the public.

Data from these surveys, known as consumer surveys, are analyse statistically to determine the significance of preference and rejection.

(5) Packaging

Packaging has multi-purpose functions for food products. The primary pur pose of a manufacturer is to protect the food product, to keep it in good condition, and to preserve the flavour until it reaches the consumer.

It is essential therefore, that a suitable form of packaging is chosen for a finishes product.

Any industrial packaging material needs to provide five basic functions:

(1) Protection of the product from the hazards of handling and environ mental conditions.

(2) Containment of the product as a handleable unit. (3) Compatibility with the machines of mass-production, such as filling

machines (whether manual or mechanical).

(4) Ease of communication or identification of the contents to aid in mar keting, and to conform to quality control regulations.

(5) Ease of manufacture convenience to everyone concerned with the dis tribution and use of the product. In addition, disposal of the package must be easy.

A variety of containers have also been designing to handle products that are sensitive to light, temperature, air, moisture, and contact with chemicals.

The industrial use of packaging materials, in order of importance, is as fol lows: paper and paper board, metal, plastics, glass, wood, textile and others.

However, the selection of a packaging material depends intrinsically on the na ture and properties of the product.

(i) Paper and paper board

Paper and paper board are uses in a variety of package types and forms. These include paper wrappers, sacks, and labels. Others are fibreboard cases, boxes, folding cartons, paper,

and carrier bags. Solid and corrugation fibreboard cases are most widely using, convenient and economical shipping containers for shipping materials lighter than 100 kg of weight. They are probably the light in weight.

(ii) Metal

Metal is using for packaging in the form of tin-plated steel cans and boxes. Tin-plate is durable and highly resistant to chemical and mechanical damage.

Tin-plate retail containers are divides into two classes: he cylindrical, open-top variety, and the general line cans that have replaceable lids. Some 80 to 90 per cent of the cylindrical open top type are in use for food packaging.

(iii) Plastics

Of the large number of plastic materials available, only a relatively small number have a substantial impact on packaging.

Recent developments in the plastic industry have provided: polyethylene (often referred to as polythene), polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, and polypropylene as packaging materials.

(iv) Glass

Glass is a highly inert material of great cleanliness. Containers of glass are durable, chemical resistance, and can be put under highly sanitary conditions. They are ideal for the storage of solid and liquid foods.

(v) Wood

Boxes, crates, casks, kegs, pallets, and a few other types of containers made of wood are using on a limitation scale to package food product. Wood is usually using for shipping whenever the package is large or the product of high density.

Timber cases and crates are uses extensively for weights above 100 kg. Timber is also uses for casks for wine and beer. More recently, however, there has been a trend toward its replacement by metal.

(vi) Textiles

Cotton bags, sacks and bales are also uses in the shipping of food products. They have limited use in the packaging of larger quanti ties of some products.

They are manufactures in bleaches and quantities and may be printing. Open mesh bags are frequently uses to pack product such as fresh vegetables, which require complete ventila tion in transport and storage.

(vii) Barrier packages

To maintain a favourable climatic environment around food products. Which are normally subject to deterioration from moisture, oxygen, light or heat, any of several barrier materials.

These include waxed paper, metal foil, plastic film, or any of the flexible materials.

(6) Labelling and storage

After packaging, labels are require on finishes products intende for distribution and sale. Labelling can reflect on the quality of a product. Effective label ling is clear and informative.

High moisture, high storage temperatures, light, and air or oxygen are all and additives,

detrimental to stored foods in general, and to dehydrated foods in particular. Dehydrated foods are generally hygroscopic in nature or easily pick up moisture from their surroundings during storage.


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