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The Monitor

Production Process Insights

AJ Naber

AJ likes all kinds of foods and beverages. Not only interested in consuming them, he also offers expertise in engineering and installation of process systems for the dairy, food, beverage and brewing industries.
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Recent Posts

How Automated Sampling for Allergens Helps Ensure Food Safety

Posted by AJ Naber on 1/11/17 11:30 AM

Peanut and tree nut allergies are two of the top eight most common food allergies. The other six are milk, eggs, soy beans, fish, shellfish, wheat and corn. Allergies to peanuts are generally a life-long condition, with only about 20 percent of people with the allergy ever receiving a remedy. In addition, up to 40 percent of people with peanut allergies are also allergic to tree nuts.

An allergic reaction can occur just by touching a surface with a trace amount of peanut butter and then touching one’s eye. Some of the serious reactions can be deadly; therefore, identifying an allergen such as peanuts or tree nuts in food processing is vital to protecting consumers. The challenge in controlling allergens such as peanuts and tree nuts involves the entire process at a food production plant. Identifying the allergens means using preventative measures to detect them, particularly when producing products with allergen sources such as nuts.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

What to Know About Food Traceability and Sampling

Posted by AJ Naber on 12/14/16 11:00 AM

Today’s media posts include food recalls due to contamination, impurities, and mislabeling almost weekly. Food recalls have grown 4-fold in the last 5 years and the average cost of a recall for a food company is $10million. The food supply chain is getting increasingly complex and safety problems can directly affect public health. Protecting a food producer’s brand and its consumers with product traceability is more important than ever.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

How to Make Food Safe with Representative Sampling & Hygienic Design

Posted by AJ Naber on 11/16/16 11:30 AM

Earlier this month PACK EXPO International 2016 brought the best-of-the-best in processing and packaging innovation from a wide variety of industries at the largest processing and packaging trade show in the world.

This year’s show introduced two new hygienic automatic samplers for free-flowing solids and powders: the Sentry HPR automatic point sampler and the Sentry HRX automatic strip sampler.

In addition to exhibiting at this show, AJ Naber, Industry Manager for Sentry Equipment, presented on the Innovation Stage to discuss why representative sampling is critical for food safety: “Promoting Food Safety Through Representative Sampling & Hygienic Design.” If you missed PACK EXPO or the presentation, the content of it is discussed below.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

Collecting your food & beverage samples to meet QA lab standards

Posted by AJ Naber on 7/21/16 1:27 PM

In any industry, quality assurance testing and analytical data is only as good as the sample tested. Hand sampling poses challenges for food and beverage manufacturers that can skew testing results and introduce food safety concerns that put products, operators and consumers at risk.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

No such thing as a free lunch: The real cost of manual food and beverage sampling methods

Posted by AJ Naber on 6/28/16 7:00 AM

Hand scoop sampling long has been commonplace with bulk material producers and processors within the food and beverage industry.  This convenient and low-cost manual method is widely accepted as a standard operating procedure. Final product sampling also is regarded as being easy and reliable – the product is a random representation of the lot and is already contained and ready for the lab. However, scoop sampling and final product sampling, which seem to be a “free lunch” in not adding costs, can be problematic and certainly not free.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

The role sampling plays in meeting U.S. FSMA guidelines

Posted by AJ Naber on 3/17/16 10:46 AM

In the U.S. regulatory world, the big news in 2016 is the implementation of the hazard analysis and risk-based preventive control (HARPC) provisions under Section 103 of the U.S. FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Food and beverage producers and processors have known this was coming, as FSMA was signed into U.S. law in January 2011. Now, the regulations implementing HARPC have been issued.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

Automatic peanut butter sampling throughout line ensures quality, saves costs

Posted by AJ Naber on 3/15/16 10:11 AM

Some food processors rely on sampling and analysis of final packaged product at the end of their line, which presents several issues. First, if the final product is found to be contaminated or presenting other quality issues, there is no way to identify exactly where in the process the issue occurred.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

Food fight: No matter the label, automatic sampling is a clean choice

Posted by AJ Naber on 3/10/16 9:51 AM

So far this year, there’s been big news in food labeling. Pending legal challenges by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and other food trade associations, the state of Vermont’s labeling law for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is set to take effect on July 1. This state law requires that food produced entirely or partially with genetic engineering is disclosed on the label or, in the case of unpackaged food, on a bin, shelf or container in which the food is displayed. Although there are exceptions to the labeling requirements, if the law takes effect, food manufacturers are faced with the prospect of labeling the GMO content of their food to be sold in Vermont, or implementing a potentially complicated distribution structure to avoid the sale of their foods in the state.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

Automatic sampling or recalls: Your choice

Posted by AJ Naber on 2/25/16 3:47 PM

Why you owe it to your customers to obtain representative samples

Hardly a month goes by when there isn’t a major food recall in the news. There are huge costs – in terms of hundreds of millions of dollars in wasted product, and the negative impact to brand equity and consumer trust – associated with each recall.

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Topics: Food & Beverage

Australian brewery ensures ingredient quality with automatic sampling

Posted by AJ Naber on 1/26/16 7:30 AM

As Homer Simpson once so eloquently said, “Here’s to alcohol: The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.” The processing of raw ingredients into a final product can cause problems for breweries big or small. Ingredient management, and in particular verifying consistency and quality, doesn’t have to be a problem if you choose the right automated sampling solution.

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Topics: Food & Beverage