Efficient cold-chain management is vital to bakers and snack producers, as consumers demand products that are fresh and government regulations require food producers to ensure food safety. Product traceability is another factor impacting this area.
When it comes to baked goods and snacks, consumers increasingly look for products in resealable, standup pouches and flexible packaging. It boosts ease-of-use for consumers, and helps improve the ability to keep foods fresh. As a result, bakers and snack producers are helping retailers meet this demand by investing in equipment capable of making packaging with popular closures, such as press-to-close zippers and sliders.
Advances in connectivity, control and automation are now being applied to processing and packaging lines, bringing new levels of flexibility, performance and cost advantages, as well as concerns about data, plant information and product security.
Ingredient traceability is a growing compliance challenge for bakers and snack producers. Statistics show that the number of food-safety recalls has risen rapidly in recent years, and recalls are becoming more costly. Product recalls can cost companies millions of dollars, and damage to the brand’s reputation can impact sales potential for years to come. For companies impacted by recalls—including through potential ingredient contamination—rapid responsiveness is key to minimizing their impact.
Snack foods are one of the most-innovative food categories, with countless new stock-keeping units (SKUs) introduced each year. As food manufacturers face stricter controls related to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), questions loom as to whether their innovation will be diminished.
Many snack and bakery companies continue to work toward compliance with directives outlined in the Food Safety Modernization Act, from minor procedural tweaks to major shifts in the standard operating procedures.
The theme of this year’s Sanitary Design Workshop is “Equipment and Plant Design for Allergen/Pathogen Control in Low-Moisture Foods,” and the event will be held March 29–30 at The Warwick Allerton Hotel in Chicago.