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Dr Philip’s paper on Sanderson Australia’s product recipe management strategies

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Dr. Philip Ashurst, a food industry consultant, has published a paper on Sanderson Australia ’s Formul8 software solution. This paper provides information on Sanderson Australia’s product recipe management strategies.

The recipe is the heart of any food product and needs to be closely guarded and protected. The recipe is more than just the secret formula of a product; it is also the base for a wide scope of requirements with statutory, management and financial implications. In most manufacturing operations, the starting point for a recipe is the standard or master batch formula. For convenience, this can relate to any size of batch but it is commonly written for either 100 or 1000 kilos to facilitate easy reference to composition. Manufacturers producing one batch size prefer to use that batch detail to avoid any errors in transposition.

Many producers operate a mass based system although liquid product manufacturers often use a volumetric formula. Even if the operational formulas are expressed in volume, it is recommended that the master formula exists primarily in units of mass. The master formula provides the reference for all manufactured batches of the product and if batch sizes vary, it needs to be transposed accurately and speedily to provide works instructions, preferably without the need for double checking. The master formula becomes the basis for the calculation of product composition.

Key requirements for labelling include:

  • Name of the food
  • List of ingredients
  • Appropriate durability indication
  • Special storage conditions or conditions of use
  • Business name of the manufacturer, packer or seller
  • Particulars of the place of origin of the food (if appropriate)
  • Instructions for use (if necessary)
The list of ingredients is prepared by calculating the composition of the food on the basis of the relative weights of ingredients at the time of manufacture and then placing them in descending order. Particular regulations apply to the names of ingredients, the labelling of compound ingredients, the addition of water, ingredients that need not be listed and foods that do not currently need to bear a list of ingredients. The proper name of the food often derives from the list of ingredients and by reference to the composition. The issue of origin or provenance of the food should be incorporated on the label to avoid the misleading caused to the consumer about the product.

It is also essential to identify allergens in any food products. The manufacturer must therefore have a system in place which enables identification and tracking of allergens in ingredients from raw materials through to the finished product and then identify these allergens on the product label.

The commercial success of a business can depend on the speed of response provided to customers on any issues that arise relating to labels, compliance, costing and composition. Such speed of response is only likely to be guaranteed by using an automated software system, provided by Sanderson Australia.

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