Quality control infant formula milk powder processing
 
       
               
                   
 
- Quality Control infant formula -

Future developments in infant formula manufacturing techniques will be driven, in part, by business and marketing concerns. This dependence on the marketing climate may be a benefit to the industry because there is tremendous opportunity for expansion. One such future improvement is being developed by European scientists who have recently identified an important fatty acid in breast milk to be included in infant formulas. This particular fatty acid appears to be important for the development of cell membranes in eye, brain, and nerve tissue. Addition of this material could be a significant advance in formula technology. Formula manufacturers can continue to make their products better by incorporating breakthrough research findings such as this one. However, even though there is great potential for growth, there is no guarantee it will be realized. The industry is experiencing criticism from groups which claim that formula is unnecessary and, in fact, may be harmful to infants. Should this trend negatively impact formula sales, manufacturers may be less likely to make significant investments in product and process development.

It should be noted that the design of infant formulas is highly complex due to the nature of the biological requirements of the developing child. What follows is a generalized description of some of the key areas of infant formulations and is not meant to be an exhaustive review of the relevant nutritional chemistry.

The key to successful formula design is to match as closely as possible the physical and nutritional properties of breast milk. Milk is a natural emulsion, which means it is a fine dispersion of tiny droplets of fats and oils suspended in water. Milk also contains important components including proteins, sugars, minerals, salts, and trace elements. Formula is made by blending similar materials in an attempt to match the characteristics of true milk.

The product is manufactured under strong hygienically and high protecting environment, to ensure guaranteed safe infant nutrition. Organic nutrition is produced from uncontaminated skimmed cow milk enriched with natural selected vegetable oils. The product consists of finest selected natural ingredients of high quality substances from European farming lands in Italy , Switzerland , Denmark, Austria and Germany . The product is developed in the infant formula milk research in Germany and Austria by European scientists under the supervision of EFSA.

The product is free from: Soy, gluten, gene manipulated substances, chemical substances, fatty acids (3-MCPD), ITX, Melamin, conservational substances and brown rice sugar syrup ingredients.

Quality of infant formula is ensured at three levels, which have some degree of overlap. First, in Europe , there are governmental standards, which establish the nutritional quality of infant formulas and other dairy substitutes. Specific details of these standards can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations; more information is available from the EFSA which regulates infant formula as a special diet food. EFSA publishes a monograph detailing everything from the mandated nutrient list to label copy and artwork used on packaging. Second, the dairy industry sets its own industry-wide quality control standards. The industry is self-policing and has its own regulatory organization, the International Dairy Federation, which sets industry standards for manufacturing and quality control. Third, individual companies set their own standards for quality control. For example 5 Star Global Nutrition, one producer of triglycerides used in formula, has microbiologists and engineers monitor 30 different checkpoints of triglyceride production, 24 hours a day.

Quality Management at an Infant Food Ingredient Manufacturer In many countries, laws and regulations require food chain stakeholders to have systematic process controls in place and further apply a systematic risk-based approach such as the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). The HACCP breaks down the food manufacturing process into logical steps to identify possible physical (e.g., glass), chemical (e.g., allergens), and biological (e.g., Salmonella spp.) hazards for every step in the whole process. The requirements develop further to encompass integrated approaches like the EU Commission ‘Farm to Fork' policy or food defense as in the new US Food Safety Modernization Act. The ‘Farm to Fork' policy covers all sectors of the food chain including feed production, primary production, food processing storage, transport, and retail sale. To ensure a systematic implementation of quality-related legal and regulatory requirements, certifications towards well-known standards are useful. The ISO 9001 standard is a generic industry-independent standard that is further derived into different industry-specific standards to facilitate, e.g., food chain companies to comply with the various applicable regulatory and industry-specific requirements.

 

Other attempts are made by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), a non-profit initiative launched in 2000 by the Consumer Goods Forum. Current activities within the GFSI include the definition of food safety requirements throughout the food supply chain. The GFSI recognizes selected available standards, e.g., FSSC22000 [9] which combines ISO 22000 and PAS220, after benchmarking them against applicable food safety requirements. Food-related international standards and requirements for specific types of food like Halal and Kosher, have besides the general quality requirements a strong focus on prerequisite programs and HACCP programs including hygiene control. Identification of the critical control points and addressing them in a systematic controlled manner ensures both a systematic approach to quality management for the manufacturers themselves and also facilitates follow-ups for authorities during inspections. The following checkups are relevant for ingredients intended for the food market: – Zone concept; highly hygienic zone separated by air locks – HACCP, especially for infant food – Assurance of homogeneity across the whole batch – In-process control – Testing of critical raw materials to meet infant food specifications, e.g., corn starch – Validated methods for the detection of enterobacteria (including Cronobacter sakazakii ) and Bacillus cereus. Supplier questionnaires from raw material suppliers completed and accepted – Environmental monitoring including production, filling, and packaging.

Quality & Safety control

 

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