Different taste preferences and an interest in global cuisine have led the expansion of the condiments industry as consumers demand ingredients to flavour their food and sauces. In addition, healthy eating concerns over salt and sugar, and preferences for organic items has led to a multi-faceted and truly global industry involving growers, processors and manufacturers of herbs and spices, sauces, dressings, flavourings and oils throughout the world’s supply chain.
While the industry has grown, so has the increasing pressure growers, processors and manufacturers face to ensure their products are safe and exactly what they claim to be. Neogen® supplies a wide variety of food safety solutions, including food allergen testing, microbiology testing, hygiene verification and mycotoxin analysis.
Neogen’s products and services fit into reliable HACCP planning and quality control processes and together with more than 30 years of experience working in the condiments industry, Neogen has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.
Within the condiments market, global cost pressures and harvest uncertainties increase the risk for adulteration of ingredients leading to an increased risk of allergen contamination. One example is the mixing of expensive spices with cheaper materials, which may contain nuts or other undeclared allergens. Since herbs and spices are used so extensively in sauces, dressing and flavourings, this risk can be passed right through the supply chain. By using Neogen’s comprehensive range of allergen testing solutions, however, industry professionals can test their products for all major allergens and ensure their customer’s safety.
Oils have also historically been an area where labelling is challenging. For example, if vegetable oils are mixed with oils containing nut proteins, anaphylaxis can occur if ingested by an allergic consumer. Manufacturers and processors of oils can rely on Neogen’s quantitative and qualitative allergen tests to give them confidence in their labelling claims.
A solid hygiene verification and ATP testing programme is as essential within the condiments industry as elsewhere in food manufacturing. Good practice involves the need to verify that the production lines for sauces and dressings are not at risk from substandard cleaning which can lead to cross-contamination or microbial risk. Neogen’s AOAC approved AccuPoint® Advanced Hygiene Verification System features enhanced samplers with new technology to more consistently collect any potential residues left behind after cleaning efforts and produces results in less than 20 seconds.
The transportation of herbs and spices is another key area where hygiene monitoring can increase confidence. Neogen’s AccuPoint Advanced system is lightweight and portable and the choice of swabs facilitates the easy monitoring of transportation equipment including tankers and other transportation containers. As the first hygiene monitoring device to be approved by the AOAC Research Institute, AccuPoint Advanced provides customers assurance that the system produces consistent and reliable data for evaluating hygiene programme effectiveness in food processing and food services facilities.
With so many raw ingredients coming into the condiments industry it’s imperative that a good microbiology testing plan is in place. Herbs and spices, sauces, dressing and oils all carry higher risks of microbial contamination as well as foodbourne pathogens including Listeria and Salmonella, as well as spoilage indicators such as moulds.
Neogen’s range of food safety testing solutions is perfect for microbiology and food labs.
Herbs and spices are especially at risk of mycotoxin contamination which can increase during storage and transportation. Neogen offers a wide range of mycotoxin testing solutions including those for aflatoxins and ochratoxin. Neogen’s tests are easy-to-use, include rapid lateral flow devices, and can help protect your brand from the risk of mycotoxin contamination.