Understanding Food Challenges: Balancing regulatory compliance with consumer expectations

Smithers Pira explores the regulatory challenges and consumer satisfaction demands companies face when developing new food products.

While food companies are continuously challenged to formulate new recipes that are in line with market trends, such as lowering saturated fats or being gluten free, they must also develop a product that meets or exceeds consumer expectations and government regulations. Maintaining a quality food product throughout manufacturing, storage and shipment through the supply chain is critical. Below we highlight three key challenges for food producers when looking to create the next best food product.

Food Contamination

Food contact studies assess how food packaging affects the integrity of foods. Chemical analysis can be used to measure specific migration of monomers, plasticizers and other additives and also identify contaminants in foods such as taint, odors and other non-intentionally added substances (NIAS). Food companies must be diligent when it comes to food contact compliance but also be mindful of the changing landscape in regulations.

Alistair Irvine, food contact expert from Smithers Pira , speaks about the effects of regulatory changes food contact in Europe in a recent interview. “We are seeing quite a lot of inquiries at the moment driven by the changes in the testing requirements under EU Regulation 10/2011.” Irvine say, “What has certainly become obvious over recent years is the growing breadth and depth of food contact regulations across the globe…”.

Food Degradation

Certain food products are highly susceptible to degradation. Perishable produce as well as crackers, chips and cookies can degrade over time due to exposure to certain environments, improper or normal handling while in transit. Formulating the precise recipe or developing the optimal logistics strategy is the key to maintaining product integrity.

Food Settling

Nonfunctional slack-fill has become an ever-increasing concern with regulators. Nonfunctional slack-fill occurs if there is significant difference between the capacity of the packaging and the amount of product present.  Concerns revolve around misleading consumers.  Although a lot of the litigation stems from under filling, the product settling that often occurs in distributing food products can exacerbate the problem and be the basis for many consumer complaints.

Food products are subjected to various hazards that threaten their integrity and as a result, manufacturers must address these issues through persistent testing and validation.  Visit our website to learn about how Smithers Pira food contact and distribution testing services can help your team address your food packaging related challenges.

To learn more about the issues facing food contact legislation and testing techniques, visit our  Global Food Contact 2016 site to register and attend.

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