Food safety and security drive growth

by Staff
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The global packaging machinery marketplace is expected to grow through 2030, with food safety and security serving as leading drivers, according to PMMI’s Guide to Global Markets.

By now, anyone involved in any facet of the food industry knows about the regulatory requirements that are part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (F.S.M.A.). Machinery end users need to collaborate closely with their suppliers to arrive at upgraded equipment designs to meet mandated validation requirements and ensure compliance.

One key area where machinery suppliers have already made strides in meeting customer demands is in sanitary design improvements. Some of these refinements include using steel frames, minimizing the amount of surface area to be cleaned, and making parts and assemblies easy to access and inspect. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are also eliminating “sandwiched” metals (caulked, welded or gasketed surfaces), aluminum components (film cage, film rollers) in certain areas and making reductions in hard-to-reach crevices in metal surfaces. Flat or horizontal surfaces, where potential hazards can develop, are also becoming a thing of the past. In addition to machine design, technologies to ensure food safety such as detection and inspection equipment, testing equipment for salmonella and bacteria, as well as self-scrubbing and cleaning equipment will be in high demand.

Traceability — even down to the ingredient — has become increasingly important. Requirements for traceability across all components of the supply chain will increase, particularly in regulated industries like food. Technologies that enable increased traceability such as RFID tags, coding and labeling equipment, barcode printing and scanning equipment will grow in demand.

Through F.S.M.A.’s Foreign Supplier Verification Program regulations, food product importers and their overseas processors are subject to the same regulations as domestic processors. Experts anticipate increased demand for automation in foreign factories, as it is overall more hygienic than semi-automated operations. Because fewer people come in contact with the food, the potential for contamination drops.

As the consumer backlash to BpA (bisphenol A) has illustrated, scrutiny will increase on materials that contact food. The microbial element is also a point of concern, especially from the use of unhygienic packaging materials. Consumers demand safer materials, active packaging to extend shelf life and intelligent packaging that educates them on product freshness.

For more information on PMMI’s Guide To Global Markets 2015, contact Ryan Oklewicz, global marketing manager: ryan@pmmi.org or (571) 612-3210.

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