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» Solutions » Knowledge » FoodTech Report » Archive » FoodTech Report - Volume 6 Issue 1 » Sanitary design feeds growing demand for infant formula

Sanitary design feeds growing demand for infant formula

Food recalls have shaken consumer confidence, leaving food processors to seek ways to build and maintain brand loyalty and trust. To that end, packaging can help speak directly to consumers about a food company’s product quality and safety standards. A box top incorrectly glued, a label incorrectly placed or a bag not fully sealed can induce consumer concern and, ultimately, brand disloyalty.

Sanitarity

By Luc Plasschaert, product line specialist for fillers and closers, JBT FoodTech

The milk powder and infant formula markets have historically met particularly harsh criticism from consumers because of concerns parents have for what they feed their infants. Today, these markets are simultaneously experiencing increases in worldwide demand and criticism of quality and safety, making flawless packing processes a necessity.

A crucial time

The SeamTec can closer has a flat, stainless steel base that eliminates dead spots and crevices, promoting a higher level of sanitation and decreasing the level of maintenance required.

The SeamTec can closer has a flat, stainless steel base that eliminates dead spots and crevices, promoting a higher level of sanitation and decreasing the level of maintenance required.

Infant formula is popular in many areas around the world. According to AP-foodtechnology.com, a daily news service for the Asia Pacific food industry, infant formula processors have experienced steady production growth of between 10 percent and 15 percent per year over the past few years, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. AP-foodtechnology.com cited an expanding Chinese population, the flourishing popularity of milk across the region and an increase in the use of powder formulas for infants and toddlers up to 6 years old, as reasons for this growth.

Worldwide infant formula activity is steady, with new producers entering the market and multinational milk powder processors expanding on a global scale. Many processors are moving toward innovative packaging and filling technology to avoid inaccurate packing and closing, and are increasing production throughput to keep up with growing milk powder segments.

The SeamTec can closer has a flat, stainless steel base that eliminates dead spots and crevices, promoting a higher level of sanitation and decreasing the level of maintenance required.
For example, equipment such as the SeamTec™ ST100 and ST200 can closers from JBT FoodTech offer high capacity and quick changeover to food processors while preventing powder spillage and ensuring a higher level of sanitation. Can rotating seaming increases the likelihood of powder spilling, but SeamTec can closers utilize can-rotating seaming through the use of special lifters that only start rotating the can after the cover is on, ensuring no powder is spilled onto the machine.

Pain points for processors

Powder spillage during packing is a main source of contamination, decreased production yield and lost revenue. Powder can remain in crevices within machinery after cleaning, making the filling and closing process less sanitary. If powder is spilled because of air circulation, there is a chance that foreign particles can be blown into a filled can of infant formula powder.

The most common result of powder spillage is a fat seam. Fat seams are caused by powder spillage that remains on the edge of the can. When the can is closed, the powder prevents the closure from hermetically sealing, allowing air in and limiting the freshness and safety of the product.

Powder processors looking to increase production and build brand loyalty through more consistent product quality can turn to innovative closing technologies for help. These technologies will provide more efficient operations through less maintenance, changeover time and downtime; faster machine speed; consistent seaming; and smoother transfer. Such productivity will allow processors to keep up with milk powder demand while delivering a fresh, clean product to consumers.


™SeamTec is a trademark of JBT FoodTech. ©2008 JBT FoodTech. All rights reserved.

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