<![CDATA[MELBOURNEQA.COM - Blog]]>Mon, 02 May 2022 23:42:05 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[October 19th, 2021]]>Tue, 19 Oct 2021 08:55:13 GMThttp://melbourneqa.com/blog/october-19th-2021Original article on the Food Processing website by Heat and Control
Disclaimer: MQA is not affiliated with the author or business of this article.    We simply believe that the information within this article may bring value to our customers and readers.    
Protecting brands is one of the most important functions that a food manufacturer performs, but a product reputation could be lost with just one safety recall.  Developing and maintaining an effective, verifiable inspection program is no longer an option for processors; actually, it never was.
Metal detection is an effective and relatively inexpensive solution.  While price, delivery and other commercial considerations are important, technical performance must be the primary factor when evaluating a metal detector to trust with a brand’s reputation.
Product EffectProduct effect is an important factor when selecting a metal detector.  If your products are conductive (usually due to water, salt or iron content), they will affect the electromagnetic field of the metal detector, causing it to produce a false reject.  Dry or neutral products generally do not cause this effect. 
If product effect is a factor, select the correct frequency to move the product effect signal away from the signal of the contaminants.  A metal detector that uses a single frequency cannot accommodate much signal variation, making it unsuitable for inspecting a variety of product types or those that may vary in temperature.  A metal detector that uses multiple frequencies is more suitable for these applications. 
The most sophisticated metal detectors on the market use multi-spectrum technology.  Instead of relying on just one frequency, a spectrum of multiple frequencies works simultaneously to filter out product signals, a much more effective method than a single frequency and which also greatly reduces the number of false alarms.
Auto-Calibration and Auto-Learn AdvantagesThe metal detector that successfully becomes a part of a plant quality control program provides good sensitivity performance and is easy to set up, easy to use and provides a low level of false rejects. 
Most metal detectors currently on the market perform self-checks to verify that the unit is in balance and performing properly.  The auto-learn routine allows the user to acquire the characteristics of the product in the unit so that the product can be inspected.  
An efficient auto-learn gives the best sensitivity and the least number of false rejects and requires minimal manual adjustments.  This gets the unit into production with a new product most quickly.
Sensitivity and Communication Metal detection sensitivity needs often depend on the operation.  For example, if a metal detector’s primary function is to protect a key piece of equipment, such as a sheeter or slicer, the goal would be to eliminate metal that is large enough to damage the equipment. 
In another part of the line, a different level of sensitivity would be required to inspect a bulk flow of product.  And because final package inspection is usually the most demanding, a higher sensitivity would be needed to protect your product before reaching the marketplace. 
Your plant’s quality control group should have specific sensitivity targets for ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel (even difficult to detect type 316) contaminants for each inspection operation. 
These targets should be communicated to the metal detector manufacturer so that they can select the appropriate equipment for each application. 
Remember to be flexible to achieve realistic and achievable goals within your budget.
Environmental ConsiderationsStart by evaluating your inspection area.  Is it wet or dry?  How much does the temperature vary?  Selecting a metal detector suited to your operating environment is critical. 
One of the most common causes of metal detector failure is water intrusion into the electrical components.  If there is a washdown regimen in the plant, is it high or low pressure?  Pay attention to the IP rating.  An IP65 washdown rating means that the metal detector can withstand low pressure washdown with ambient temperature water; an IP69K rating means sustained high temperature and pressure.  But beware: these ratings are typically self-reported.  The manufacturer’s reputation in the industry for its equipment’s ability to withstand washdown can be a good indicator.

Does the washdown include caustic agents? If so, careful attention should be given to the specific alloy of the stainless steel used for the metal detector’s case.  Type 316L is more resistant to these caustic agents. 
For dry environments, is the finish of the metal detector painted?  Placing a painted surface in the product stream could eventually contaminate your products with chips of paint. 
Also consider impact resistance.  Plastic covers and membranes are subject to wear or impact penetration.  A robust display screen and keyboard help avoid downtime and parts replacement costs.
Communications ConsiderationsWill the metal detector be a standalone piece of equipment or will it need to be integrated into the plant’s network, providing periodic data reporting for a statistical package?  
Does the unit have ready-made software that can provide these functions?  Is it Ethernet ready?  Some manufacturers provide software packages that allow for remote programming and diagnostics via laptop, including oscilloscope emulation via Bluetooth, without the need to open the power supply cabinet.
Event TrackingAs food manufacturing regulations become more demanding, equipment must keep up.  What are the internal requirements for event tracking for a metal detector?  Should every operator use the same passwords?  Or should each user have a unique password allowing access to only those levels that management considers appropriate for the individual?
In this case, each machine entry (e.g. product change, sensitivity change, reset) can be traced to a specific operator.  Select a metal detector that meets the required access and event tracking of these internal requirements.
Pre-Sales ResearchConsider testing your products on the metal detector before you make a purchase.  In addition to evaluating the detector’s performance, you can get first-hand experience with set-up and changeover simplicity, calibration and maintenance requirements, integration with other equipment (e.g. a checkweigher) and general construction quality.

After-Sales SupportAs with any equipment purchase, the buyer is not purchasing just a piece of equipment but also is entering into a long-term relationship that includes up-front application assistance, training, parts supply and technical support.  Choose a reliable supplier with whom you feel comfortable and who offers ongoing assistance.
The ChecklistConsider these factors to determine the best metal detector for your needs:
  • Primary detection function: food or equipment safety, or both?
  • Products characteristics for inspection
  • Size of particles to be detected
  • Sensitivity target for each metal type
  • Wet or dry inspection area
  • Temperature variations in the product or inspection area
  • Washdown: High or low pressure, caustic agents
  • Equipment integration with other equipment or the plant’s data network 
<![CDATA[FSANZ: Plain English Allergen Labelling]]>Tue, 19 Oct 2021 08:51:12 GMThttp://melbourneqa.com/blog/fsanz-plain-english-allergen-labelling
Original article by Zubi Sensational Food Labelling
Disclaimer: MQA is a customer of Zubi Sensational Food Labelling.  We use their online tool to develop labels for some of our MQA-clients.  We believe this article may bring value to our customers and readers.    
Proposal P1044: Plain English Allergen Labelling On 25th February 2021, the Food Standards Code was amended to incorporate Proposal P1044, Plain English Allergen Labelling.  The new requirements in the labelling of food will help people to find allergen information on food labels more easily and more quickly.
There are 11 known foods and ingredients that can cause severe allergic reactions, which must be declared on labels when they are present in food sold in Australia and New Zealand.  The format, wording and location of the allergen declaration, plus the use of mandatory specified terms in bold font, are now specified and must be adhered to. 
Read the Approval Report for their decisions, and rationales for the decisions, read the Code in full here, and read on for some highlights that may be relevant to you.

Why was the change required?
Standard 1.2.3 Information requirements – warning statements, advisory statements and declarations of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code requires the mandatory declaration of the presence of certain foods or substances in food. But there was no requirement for how those statements should be made or the terminology to use. Making safe food choices was difficult for allergen sufferers and their caregivers. As a result, consumers unnecessarily excluded foods from their diet due to lack of confidence, or, worse, suffered potentially fatal reactions. Other consequences of the lack of clarity included compliance uncertainty both for industry and for regulators. 
What changes were made?
​FSANZ amended the Code to require the following:
  • The use of mandatory specified terms of the allergen source (required name) when declaring allergens
  • The separate declaration of:
    • Molluscs
    • Individual tree nuts: Almond, Brazil nut, cashew, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pine nut, pistachio, walnut
    • Wheat, barley, rye, oats or their hybrids and gluten, if present
  • For food required to bear a label, allergens are to be declared:
    • In the statement of ingredients for each ingredient that is, or contains, an allergen and also in a separate but co-located summary statement beginning with the word ‘contains’
    • Using bold type that provides a distinct contrast with any other text to make declarations easier to identify from surrounding information
    • In a size of type no less than that used for other text
    • With the use of the required name ‘gluten’ in the summary statement if the allergen is wheat, barley, rye, oats or their hybrids''  
Permitted generic names and conditions for their use
  • 'Cereals’ and ‘starch’ — the specific name of the cereal must be listed if the cereal or source of the starch respectively, is wheat, rye, barley, oats or spelt or a hybridised strain of one of these cereals  
  • Nuts’ — the specific name of the nut must be declared
  • Fish’ — if the food is crustacea, the specific name of the crustacea must be declared
  • Fats’ or ‘oils — the specific source name must be declared if the source of the oil is lupin, peanut, sesame, or soybean (unless the soybean oil has been degummed, neutralised, bleached or deodorised)
  • Soy’ — the use of the required name ‘soy’ in the summary statement will assist consumers to identify the presence of soy and reduce the likelihood of any confusion when a soy synonym is in the statement of ingredients
Food not required to bear a label
  • Foods not required to bear a label (e.g. food made and packaged on the premises from which it is sold) are exempt from format and location requirements
  • Allergen declarations for food not required to bear a label are, as previously, to be displayed in connection with a food or provided to the purchaser on request
  • However, these foods will be required to declare allergens using the required name, excepting: ‘gluten’ instead of ‘barley’, ‘rye’ and ‘oats’ is to be declared for food not required to bear a label
  • Wheat’ must still be declared when it is present in food, irrespective of whether gluten is present
  • The summary statement may only contain the 11 mandatory allergens and may not contain any other allergen, even if required in other jurisdictions
  • If an imported product contains, for example, celery, it must not be listed in the summary statement, nor can it be bolded in the ingredient listing
Processing Aids
  • FSANZ requires processing aids containing allergens to be listed in the statement of ingredients with the words ‘processing aid’ in conjunction with the required name of the allergen concerned
  • The allergen would also be declared in the summary statement
Implementation Period
  • Businesses have 3 years from 25 February 2021 to implement the new requirements. During this transition period, food businesses can comply with either the existing allergen declaration requirements in the Code, or the new requirements
  • Any food packaged and labelled with existing allergen declarations before the end of the transition period may be sold for up to 2 years after the end of the transition period
  • FSANZ has said it will develop communication messages to alert industry, consumers and health professionals to the new labelling requirements
Zubi customers can be reassured the software will never be out-of-date. Being cloud-based, changes are rolled out regularly. Updates to label formatting will be live in ample time for customers to ensure compliance with the updated regulations - some are already in place.]]>