A Holistic Approach to
The challenge is to secure food safety — against operator mistakes, non-consis-
tent quality and even manipulation of the product — profitably. Adopting a holis-
tic view on the entire production is the answer.
By Jean-Pierre Berlan, Sales and Marketing Director for Processing, Dairy & Cheese Categories, Tetra Pak US and Canada
Today, the assurance that food will not cause harm to consumers, in other words, food safety, is viewed as the number one prior- ity across the food industry. To the consumer, food safety simply
means being able to rely on the food they eat. To the producer, it means
so much more — being in full control of all production parameters at
all times, securing quality and production throughout the manufacturing
In order to ensure food safety to its highest level, Tetra Pak believes in
a holistic approach. Food safety encompasses a wide range of specialist
areas, including food processing and packaging solutions as well as legal
All parties in the food chain share the responsibility for food safety: the
producer, the processing and packaging industries, retailers and, last but
not least, consumers. Products can be bacteriologically safe and of high
quality, but incorrect storage or handling by the consumer can turn food
into a health risk.
Thus, a holistic view on the entire, integrated production process is
necessary to secure food safety. Hygienic design ensures everything
that will ever come in contact with food is built for cleanability, using
approved materials, taking into account the entire production solution.
Automation on the plant level controls the production process from
intake to distribution and enables full traceability.
Integrated production solutions — from
intake to distribution
One way to avoid mistakes which threaten food safety is to carefully
align all stages of the production process. Integrated processing and
packaging solutions make it easier for food producers to reach their
objectives for safe as well as efficient operations. Integration means a
number of things, such as making old and new equipment work together,
including third-party equipment, in the customer’s total operations.
Integration also involves the information flow.
With an integrated processing and packaging solution built on a
common software platform, producers can enjoy simplified operations
and decision making. They need only a single control room where all
processing and packaging
activities can be managed and
monitored. All the equipment
speaks the same language.
In the development of
machines, production lines
and entire plants, food safety
starts on the drawing board
with hygienic design. The idea
is to ensure everything that
will ever come in contact with
food — from components
right down to connections and
welds — is built for cleanability, using approved materials. Hygienic
design also takes into account how all these components are put together into a production solution where the flow system and control system
collaborate to achieve a correct function.
Moreover, hygienic risk assessment of equipment during the development and engineering phases analyzes and evaluates hazards to
reduce or eliminate hygienic risks such as microbiological and chemical
contamination and foreign bodies originating from machinery or other
sources. Such complete analysis enables verification of entire production
Food safety is always a priority when Tetra Pak develops new technologies. One example is E-beam, a non-contact technology for sterilization
of packaging material. When developing new production technologies, it
is essential for equipment and solutions producers to incorporate a food
safety perspective and standards for hygienic design.
Integrated automation solutions
Advanced, integrated automated solutions should control the plant to
secure every step — from intake to distribution. A real-time automation
application on the factory floor can communicate in seconds with data-