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Early in 2020 the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) published an extensive paper on the sources, risks and prevention of pathogenic E. coli in flour (and products containing raw flour).
If you’re like most people, then picking up a product to find unfamiliar, chemically synthesised ingredients on the back is a big turn-off – it may even dissuade you from purchasing it.
Companies want to be sure that their cleaning inactivates the virus that causes COVID-19.
When did you last consume some sugar? Chances are it was probably today. It’s a difficult ingredient to avoid,
Current UK Food Standards Agency guidance is that chilled foods should be stored at 5°C throughout life even though the legal maximum temperature for chill in the UK is 8°C.
Whether it’s due to eating too much or moving too little, obesity is becoming a growing problem in the UK.
Good hygiene starts with design – for food premises and equipment.
The subject of bread making was one we thought as ideal for applying AI to model the process
Over the past year Listeria appears to have re-emerged as an organism of great importance, with a number of high-profile outbreaks.
3D printing is a rapidly growing technology that is already in widespread use for customised,
Changing a product’s recipe, process, shelf-life or packaging can be a daunting task.
Discusses the importance of sampling correctly to prevent microbiological issues.
Manufacturers of food packaging materials are now required to implement a microbiological environmental monitoring program, where appropriate, based on risk.
As part of our research into calorie reduction and fibre enhancement, we successfully used food waste to double the fibre content of a tortilla.
We’re currently undertaking a member-funded project to investigate the technical challenges of reducing or replacing single-use plastics for food and drink.
Predictive modelling is a tool used to assess the survival and/or growth of a microorganism under a range of temperatures, pH and water activities.
Enzymes are natural biological catalysts that speed up and improve the chemical reactions required in the baking process.
The Brewing Analytes Proficiency Scheme (BAPS) is an international scheme designed to promote quality in the measurement of a range of chemical, microbial and sensory analytes in beer
E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria – we’re all aware of the ‘buzzword’ bacteria, but we pay less attention to all the other countless species that naturally occur on our food
If there is an iconic baking process that has come out of the British tradition, it would be the Chorleywood Bread Process (CBP) developed in 1961 by scientists here at Campden BRI
There are many challenges to improving the nutritional profile of our diets, including reduction in the fat, salt and sugar content of food products together with enhancement of fibre and micronutrients
The introduction of microwave heating food in the 1940s sparked a revolution in the way we process foods both commercially and domestically.
Are you a manufacturer who applies heat to food? If so, it’s likely you’re applying a thermal process to reduce the level of microorganisms in your product, ensuring it’s safe to consume.
Crispy, crunchy, chewy, firm, soft – all appealing adjectives found on food packaging - but what’s the importance of measuring how crunchy or how firm a food is?
Colour is one of the most important sensory aspects of food and drink. As well as indicating its likely freshness and flavour, it can also influence consumer choice and enjoyment of a product.
Simulations enable the effects of process conditions to be evaluated and optimised computationally prior to experimental validation
New research indicates that assumptions about fridge temperatures may not be accurate. Linda Everis, principal research officer at Campden BRI explains its implications.
Cake ‘fluffiness’ is commonly used as a desirable quality for cakes and the term is regularly used in adverts and on the packaging of cake products.
Phil Voysey discusses the importance of a guideline on cleaning and disinfecting food factories, and the approaches taken to update one already in circulation.
Instruction validation relates to the need to ensure that cooking and heating instructions for consumers are tested rigorously, to ensure that food is safe to eat and of acceptable quality.
Campylobacter are of great importance to the food industry as the major cause of bacterial food poisoning.
‘Getting more from less’ was a major ‘need’ articulated by our members when we asked them what they needed from science and technology. We’re all aware of the issues of food waste at the post retail and consumer stages, but it’s just as critical in manufacturing and processing.
Continuous microwave processing uses this mechanism to heat a product as it continually flows through a chamber.
Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is used as a means of preservation and is well known in the food industry as a method to extend the shelf-life of a range of different food products.
Problems with taints and off–flavours can cost food and drink companies considerable money and time through wasted product, impact on reputation and lost production.
The trend for vegan food has spread quickly through the market, with meat alternatives and dairy alternatives proving popular with consumers
Ingredients derived from hemp (Cannabis sativa) are stimulating innovation in a wide range of food and drink products.
Process validation is the collection and evaluation of data to establish that a process is capable of consistently delivering a safe product.
Assigning the correct shelf-life requires a great deal of thought. Obviously, if it is too long there is the potential for food spoilage or growth of food pathogens
A well thought out factory design that considers the ease of cleanliness at the outset can lead to the reduction of food contamination and food poisoning incidents.
A new method has been developed to give manufacturers and retailers confidence that they are providing consumers with accurate and consistent information about the chilli strength of their products.
Optimising pasteurisation for different beer styles and microorganisms is likely to result in reduced costs, lower energy utilisation and decreased water waste for breweries
An initiative from the Institute of Physics (IOP) recognises the food industry as an important sector
Unusual fillings like wild boar and chorizo are now regularly available alongside more traditional pork or beef sausages and meat-free recipes.
How to set a ‘best before’ shelf life date for ambient goods is a commercial decision.
Duty is paid when goods are brought into a country or trading area. Rates of duty are different for different commodities and different origin countries.
Vitamins are important nutrients that your body needs to function correctly and remain healthy.
The majority of Escherichia coli strains are harmless and are generally seen as hygiene indicators in the food industry.
The food sector is looking at alternative materials and systems to reduce the use of plastic packaging.
We are often approached by clients with questions related to the appearance, texture and rheology of their products.
The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety is the most widely used of the commercial standards for assuring production of safe food.
By 2025, it is predicted that the UK food and drink industry will need 130,000 new skilled workers to meet demand and replace retiring workers.
Hepatitis E produces inflammation of the liver, which is caused by infection with the Hepatitis E Virus (HEV).
Increasing competition, rising ingredient prices and value-conscious shoppers are squeezing profits in food manufacturing.
It is becoming increasingly important for producers to differentiate their products in a way that will provide a competitive advantage and entice consumers to purchase their product.
The new Novel Foods Regulation (2015/2283) applies from 1 January 2018 and revoked the previous legislation that had been in force for 20 years.
The trade press and market research reports are filled with sobering statistics about new food and drink products failure rates, but this doesn’t tell the whole story.
Labelling of ingredients and nutrition information on most alcoholic drinks has long been voluntary in the United Kingdom, European Union and most world markets.
The majority of 'sports' products including protein powders and drinks are now regulated as ‘normal’ foods.
Pets are big business: in the UK alone there are some 58 million, with an estimated 46% of households owning a pet.
The baking industry faces many challenges in providing products that meet the needs of modern consumers, especially since baked goods are often seen as indulgent, with high levels of fat and sugar.
The shelf-life of a product is the time that it remains acceptable to eat. Within the shelf life the product will remain safe and retain the desired sensory, chemical, physical and microbiological characteristics.
Hygienic design is essential to ensure that the cleanliness of a kitchen is easy to maintain.
Thousands of new food and drink products are launched in the UK each year. Many of those products will require a company to purchase a retort/autoclave cooker.
Arsenic is known to be harmful to health, but not all forms of arsenic are equally toxic.
Your HACCP plan is there for a reason. Not complying with it is considered a non-conformance.
Colour is one of the most important sensory aspects of food and drink.
ulsed electric field processing is a well known non-thermal food preservation technique, but did you know it can also be used to improve product quality and food production processes?
It's no secret that the average age of the European population is increasing - the over 60s now account for nearly a quarter of the total population.
We've recently started a new three year member-funded project looking at the use of protein profiling for assessing food safety and traceability.
'Food development', 'new product development', 'product innovation' – whatever you call it, developing new successful products is essential for food and drink companies to grow and thrive.
There is considerable evidence linking poor dietary choices to higher risks of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Process validation is the collection and evaluation of data to establish that a process is capable of consistently delivering safe product.
One of my early experiences as a food microbiologist was a visit I paid to a bread bakery that was having problems with a salmon-pink-coloured mould growing on their product.
The aim of aseptic processing is to produce a sterile product through heat processing.
Testing of meat and meat products can be used to assess quality, safety, performance and compliance with prescribed standards, both external and internal, and legislation.
The European Commission is intending to propose maximum levels for ergot alkaloids in unprocessed grain in 2017.
Since I began working in the UK wine industry in 1976, I have tested and advised on tens of thousands of wine samples.
Contamination of beer by spoilage micro-organisms remains a considerable challenge for the brewing industry.
Food and beverage product reformulation and development, especially that linked to 'Health & Wellness', should take into consideration not only consumer taste acceptability but also in-mouth texture and physiological effects.
Successful businesses need to innovate and introduce new products that are appealing, safe and produced at a cost that the consumer is willing to pay
Traditionally seen as small portions eaten out with meal times, they may also be incorporated into the main meal, especially lunch, providing opportunities for the meat industry to penetrate this popular sector.
VUCA doesn't sound very nice... but it is a great way of describing the world we live in: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.
In recent years, the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables has increased, largely due to advice on healthy eating and because exotic varieties of both are available year round.
Packaging is so much more than just a means of getting products safely to consumers.
Validation of processes is an essential part of the manufacturing of food and drink.
Have you ever considered using mathematical modelling to simulate your own process?
Choosing the right market when exporting food is an exciting yet challenging task.
Julie Archer, Microbiologist discusses some of the common issues and challenges in microbiological identification
In order to strictly regulate the use of food additives and food flavourings and re-build the confidence of consumers, China has now streamlined its food supervisory system.
The word ‘quality’ means different things to different people, but on the whole, when it comes to buying baked goods, consumers tend to talk about appearance, smell and how ‘fresh’ they perceive the product to be.
Changing rules for food businesses exporting to the US.
A new EU Novel Foods Regulation (EU) No. 2015/2283 will come into force on 31st December 2015 and apply from 1 January 2018.
Studies have shown that levels of Salmonella artificially inoculated on nuts were largely unchanged after 18 months
Product reheating is the warming of ready-cooked foods by consumers and food retailers.
While the microbiological hazards posed by Listeria, Salmonella, Campylobacter and E.coli in food are well known.
Following our development of a method to simultaneously determine levels of chlorate and perchlorate in food and drink, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has asked us to survey their levels in beer.
Attractive incentives and extensive support are available for companies interested in reaching or supporting the food and drink market in north-east Asia.
Foreign bodies form the biggest single cause of consumer complaints received by many food and drink manufacturers, retailers and enforcement authorities.
Did you know that over 8,000 new products are launched in UK retail stores every year? But how many of these remain on shelves post launch.
Thanks to the global supply chain, consumers today have an abundant supply of food all year round.
Threat Assessment and Critical Control Point (TACCP) helps food producers identify weak points in their supply chain and processing activities.
There has been significant growing interest in the role of cross modal sensory experiences in consumer brand and product choices and decision making.
Over the last 5 to 10 years there has been a growth in research and media attention in the areas of health, nutrition and well-being from the perspective of the consumer.
Over recent years, there has been much development of new food and drink products which are lower in salt, sugar and fat and thus offer a healthier option to standard formulation products.
When designing healthy products with reduced levels sugar, fat or salt, or increased levels of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fibre, initial small scale work is often undertaken at the kitchen scale
Nutrition, diet and health are currently hot topics for the food industry.
In a world which is constantly changing, manufacturers must adapt to stay ahead of competitors and continue to meet consumers' needs.
We have been most fortunate to have had the opportunity to expand our facilities to include a process hall dedicated to microbiological studies.
Developing new products and ingredients often begins with a small-scale bench-top exercise.
The baking industry faces a number of challenges in providing products that meet the needs of modern consumers.
The alcoholic drinks sector, spirits in particular, is currently going through a very innovative phase.
Reheating instructions on product labels are developed from a 'safety first' viewpoint, but there is much that can be done to optimise quality without compromising on safety.
The packaging specification will cover a range of materials from the primary packaging through to secondary and tertiary packaging.
Food contact materials (FCMs) are all materials and articles intended to come into contact with food or drink.
A food safety analysis (due diligence) plan provides a risk-based approach to food safety analyses.
The production of safe foods is a priority for all manufacturers. The adoption of systems such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is key to achieving this.
Verification is a key requirement for safe food production and confirms that a food safety system based around HACCP is working effectively.
Over recent years there has been an increase in the level of food borne illness associated with food contaminated with viruses.
There are hundreds of serotypes of E. coli. Many can be found in the intestines of animals.
It is well–known that lifestyle–related non–communicable diseases are now the leading cause of death globally.
In my blog this time last year, I mentioned in passing the use of surrogate microorganisms in process validation regimes.
The importance of benchmarking cannot be overstated. That's why Campden BRI is proud to have UKAS accreditation for its benchmarking method, which provides an independent, unbiased overview of a product against its competitors.
In a developed market, the success or failure of a product will ultimately depend on what the purchaser or final consumer thinks of it.
There are many reasons why we are approached to assist in new product development (NPD) for brewing and alcoholic beverage manufacture.
The Public Health Responsibility Deal is a government–led initiative to tap into the potential for businesses and other influential organisations to make a significant contribution to improving public health.
Food legislation is a complex area, with plenty of pitfalls for the unwary.
Food allergy and food intolerance (e.g. coeliac disease) are estimated to afflict over 3 million people in the United Kingdom alone.
The level and characteristics of protein in wheat have a major bearing on its suitability for use in bread making - small differences can have a significant effect on final product quality.
One of the issues facing governments and industry in general is how to persuade people to change their habits to what is believed to be a more desirable situation.
The results from microbiological analysis play a critical role in the effective management of food safety and quality, and it is vital that the user of such data has confidence in their reliability.
Recent developments in techniques under the broad umbrella of chemical analysis have allowed us to investigate and solve problems that were previously difficult to understand.
The evaluation of the effectiveness of any food preservation process to reduce the target microbiological population is complicated.
Large numbers of new products are launched on to retailer shelves every year.
Even though drinks manufacturers may have produced immaculate beverages, the drink presented to the customer may be unacceptable if contamination has occurred at the point of dispense.
When choosing the right disinfectant to use in a food manufacturing or similar area, there are several considerations to bear in mind.
The primary concern of food manufacturers is to produce a product that is both safe and wholesome.
During the past year, interest in our benchmarking services – either with our "expert in-house panel" or using respondents from our consumer data base – has gone wild.
Understanding what the consumer wants is very important when trying to develop successful new products - but it is also a key component in the promotion of products, including specific product areas.
In June 2012 the UK Government announced its decision to introduce mandatory carbon reporting for large companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Enzymes are being widely used in the cereals industry to improve processing performance and product quality in a range of food products.
Sports drinks aim to provide water, energy and electrolytes in a form that is both palatable and easy to absorb.
It is about 12 years since I was asked by the Food and Drink Federation to do an independent review of the literature on the technological functions of salt (1).
Traceability is a widely used term and is one of those broad concepts, like quality, for which there are many definitions and applications.
The sixth edition of the BRC Global Standard for Food (BRC 6) has certainly caused many companies to re-evaluate some of their processes and procedures.
In the food industry, major decisions are made on the basis of analytical results. It is absolutely imperative that the results are right and interpreted correctly.
Problems with taints and off–flavours can cost food and drink companies considerable money and time - in wasted product and resolving the problem.
The rapid and cost-effective identification of foreign bodies reported from food is an essential part of the investigation of contamination incidents in order to reassure the complainant and help to prevent a recurrence.
There is much talk about reducing food and packaging waste, and many companies have on-going programmes to look at this issue.
With the drive still on for 'clean label' products and products that have fresh tasting characteristics with a good shelf life, the interest in 'new technologies' continues.
The Food Information Regulation has finally been agreed. After much debate, we now know what changes to food labels are going to be required.
Microbiological analysis needs to be closely controlled for the user of the results to have confidence in their reliability.
There is growing concern for the potential presence and survival of Salmonella in low–water–activity ('dry') products.
As the range and prevalence of hazards in the food chain continues to grow and food manufacturers increasingly look to global markets to source raw materials, confusion over risk assessment procedures could potentially compromise food safety.
Selecting the correct packaging and providing good heating or reheating instructions is as important to the quality and safety of heated product as is the effort spent creating the product.
Baking is seen as a traditional industry and its detractors say that anything that is not 'traditional' is therefore 'not good'.
The food label is the 'face' of most products. It is what people first see.
Food safety is a major concern for everyone involved in the food industry from producers to policy makers and retailers to consumers, and it is imperative that all precautions are taken to safeguard consumers' health.