Different taste preferences and an interest in global cuisine have led the expansion of the condiments industry as consumers demand ingredients to flavor their food and sauces. In addition, healthy eating concerns over salt and sugar, and preferences for organic items, has led to a multi-facetted and truly global industry involving growers, processors and manufacturers of herbs and spices, sauces, dressings, flavorings 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, sanitation 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 flavorings, 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 labeling 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 labeling claims.
A solid sanitation verification and ATP testing program 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 Sanitation Verification System features enhanced samplers with new technology to more consistently collect any potential residues left behind after sanitation 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 sanitation 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 sanitation program 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 foodborne pathogens including Listeria and Salmonella, as well as spoilage indicators such as molds.
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.
Because of its ease of use and clarity of result, many companies prefer to utilize our self-contained protein detection tests for their sanitation monitoring programs. AccuClean® Advanced is intended to be used as a simple method to determine the cleanliness of food contact surfaces and equipment. AccuClean Advanced is housed in a fully self-contained cartridge that once activated, changes color to indicate the relative level of protein detected on a sampled surface.
After 10 seconds, the solution is compared to a color comparison chart for interpretation. If no protein is detected, the solution in the bottom of the cup will remain copper-colored to indicate the surface is clean. A color change to gray indicates low level protein has been detected, while a change to green/blue or blue indicates a higher level of protein detected.