To ensure compliant food labels, Alvarado Street Bakery performed lab analysis for each new variety of bread. Here is its case study.

The client
For more than 20 years, Alvarado Street Bakery, Petaluma, Calif., has been a global supplier of certified-organic whole grain breads and bagels made with sprouted wheat. Alvarado Street Bakery, through its worker-owned cooperative structure, uses whole grain and organic ingredients wherever possible to support sustainable agricultural practices and healthy living. The company has received multiple awards for its valuable contributions to both the economy and the environment.

The challenge
Fifteen years ago, nutritional data bases did not include information for sprouted wheat. To ensure compliant food labels, Alvarado Street Bakery performed lab analysis for each new variety of bread. The process was both time-consuming and costly, as the company mailed loaves of bread back and forth to an out-of-town laboratory for analysis. In addition, the unique "flour-less" organic ingredients required extra attention to detail in order to steer through regulatory requirements.

The solution
Food Consulting Co., Del Mar, Calif., offered a more cost-effective and resource-friendly approach to developing nutrition data and Nutrition Facts Panels for sprouted wheat products. They helped create a standardized nutrient profile for this novel ingredient so that future lab analysis for each new finished product would not be required. In addition to significant cost savings and faster turnaround time, Food Consulting Co. gave the bakery more confidence in its nutritional information.

Over the past 15 years, Food Consulting Co. has continued to help Alvarado Street Bakery with all of the company’s labeling projects and regulatory needs, including nutritional facts panels, unique customer requests and guidance to target desired nutritional claims with specific formulations.

The results
Working with Food Consulting Co. has saved Alvarado Street Bakery both time and money. Food Consulting Co. makes the process easy–from labeling on product packaging to ingredient specification sheets to staying up-to-date on label regulations. The bakery rests assured that their product documentation is accurate and packaging is FDA compliant.

Food Consulting Co. has also helped Alvarado Street Bakery be more responsive to its customers. When asked for an extended nutrient profile for an urgent customer deadline, Food Consulting Co. can turn on a dime to address issues and opportunities. In addition, the bakery appreciates the 24/7 access to all of its completed work files on a secure web portal. This allows for quick access to react to customers requests–even when away from office computers. The perspective from those who worked with Food Consulting Co. daily: “They make Alvarado Street Bakery ‘look good.’”

Alvarado Street Bakery stays informed on food labeling regulations through Food Consulting Co.’s e-newsletter,Food Label News, and their insightful project comments. The bakery turns to Food Consulting Co. to help make the right choices for regulatory compliance.

(c) 2011, Food Consulting Co., Del Mar, Calif., All rights reserved.  Reprinted by permission from the April 2011 issue of Food Label News.