Services

The team at the Food Technology Centre provide a broad range of specialist support services in order to assist businesses to deal with the challenges facing the food sector. Whether you are looking for support with new product development, product testing, third party accreditation such as BRC and SALSA or would benefit from some assistance in solving a technical issue, the FTC team welcome your enquiry.

  • Technical Advice

    Advice is offered on a wide range of food related subjects including interpreting food legislation, labelling and a host of other regulatory and technical issues. This can be provided through one to one meetings, over the phone, via emails, written reports and visits to client's premises.

    Labelling

    The FTC is able to give advice on the legal compliance of food labels to 'EU Regulation 1169/2011 on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers'. Ingredient lists can be composed for new products, highlighting any allergens present. Additional information such as the quantity of the food, storage conditions, provenance and consumer usage instructions may also be required. Durability dates can be presented as use-by or best-before, depending on the type of product. Inclusion of nutritional information becomes a compulsory requirement by the end of 2016.

    Packaging

    The FTC team can assist in sourcing the right packaging for your product, whether it is biodegradable, recyclable or an industry standard for your particular product. Packaging must acdequately preserve and protect the food from manufacture until consumption. The type of material and the way it is sealed can influence shelf life stability. Well-designed packaging with eye-catching branding can make all the difference in volume of sales, conveying an instant message to consumers about the product they are buying.

    Processing

    The FTC team have the knowledge and expertise to research the most suitable equipment and processes for high quality food manufacturing. Advice can be given on legal requirements such as pasteurisation temperatures and cooling rates. The sourcing of quality ingredients is also key to a successful operation, providing consistent technical performance. Process optimisation studies ensure that manufacturing companies develop high quality end products to meet the challenging demands of the market place.

    Legislation

    Food legislation can be a technical minefield, with unfamiliar terminology and lengthy documents to interpret. Staff at FTC are able to guide you through the requirements relevant to your food business operation. With legal requirements covering everything from the construction of your premises, processing standards, hygiene requirements and product testing, we can advise at every step of the process. Food manufacturers are now included in the Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme, with a rating from 0 to 5 awarded following an inspection from an Environmental Health Practioner. Be one step ahead with assistance from FTC staff to ensure your compliance with all legislative requirements.

    HACCP

    Every food business operator is legally required to have a food safety system based on HACCP principles. HACCP is an abbreviation for 'Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point'. It is a tool for ensuring you have taken every reasonable step to manufacture a safe food product that will not cause any harm to consumers.

    The approach is to firstly gather together 'Prerequisite' controls which address the manufacturing environment and support the final HACCP plan, such as policies and schedules for cleaning, pest control, waste control, maintenance and staff training. All potential physical, chemical, microbiological and allergenic hazards are then assessed along every step of the process. Monitoring is implemented where control is considered necessary.

    The FTC team are well trained to assist in writing, validating and verifying HACCP plans for your business. It is important to review HACCP plans on an annual basis, or more frequently when changes have occurred or in response to a food safety incident.

  • Product Testing

    Product testing, whether compositional or microbiological, will always be a requirement for both new and existing products. At FTC we can cover all these requirements, either in our well-equipped laboratory or via our network of accredited testing service providers.

    Nutritional testing

    The nutritional content of our food products is under increasing scrutiny with concerns over the health of the nation, with the focus on informing consumers to assist in their choice of product. A nutritional declaration on food packaging becomes a compulsory requirement in December 2016, clearly stating values for fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, sugars, protein and salt, as representative of the final consumed product. If desired, additional nutrients can also be declared: mono-unsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, polyols, starch and fibre. Certain vitamins and minerals can also be declared if present in specified significant amounts. The declaration is presented per 100g or 100ml of the product, although it can in addition be declared on a per-portion basis.

    At FTC we can provide a full nutritional breakdown of your product to suit your requirements. These are normally obtained by laboratory analysis. For certain products, where the nutritional values of the ingredients are known or can be obtained from established data, the declaration can be calculated.

    Laboratory services

    The analytical laboratory at FTC is well equipped to enable the characterisation and compositional assessment of food products to be carried out, assisting in a better understanding of processing technology, techniques and product performance in the market place. The laboratory also provides research into product and ingredient functionality within food systems.

    The following services can be accessed via FTC:

    • Nutritional analysis
      • Fat, carbohydrates, protein, salt, energy, salt, vitamins, minerals
    • Milk compositional analysis
      • Fat, protein, lactose, total solids, solids-non-fat
    • Milk analysis
      • Antibiotics, phosphatase, freezing point depression
    • Alcohol (abv) analysis
    • Soluble solids (°brix)
    • Moisture analysis
    • Water activity and ph assessment
    • Texture and viscosity analysis
    • Allergen testing
    • Trace metals and natural toxins
    • Fat analysis (rancidity and free fatty acids)
    • Caffeine analysis
    • Meat and milk species testing
    • Adulteration and authenticity testing
    • Pesticide analysis
    • Brewing and malting services

    Microbiological testing

    The FTC has the advantage of a food microbiological testing laboratory on site, the Marine Biological and Chemical Consultants (MBCC). This service offers full traceability and UKAS accreditation.

    Microbiological testing forms a vital part of the new product development process, verifying the procedures used along each step of the process. Routine testing of manufactured products is also a crucial part of every company's food safety system.

    Microorganisms of concern in food products include both pathogens, which can cause illness, and spoilage microorganisms that can cause significant deterioration and leave food unfit for consumption.  Examples of pathogens are Salmonella species, Listeria monocytogenes, E. Coli 0157. Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium perfringens. Spoilage microorganisms can include Enterobacteriaceae, yeasts and moulds. Total Viable Counts (TVC) provide a useful quality measure of the food.

    The FTC team can advise on which microorganisms are appropriate for testing within any type of food product.  They will also provide a full interpretation of testing results in conjunction with current EU and UK legislation requirements and guidelines.

    Shelf life

    Having developed a new product, testing is required to determine the use-by or Best-before durability indication for consumers.  Two aspects need to be addressed, firstly to assess the quality of the product (taste, appearance, aroma), then secondly to determine the safety aspect, by microbiological testing over the predicted shelf life whilst storing the product under the specified conditions. Some products also require a 'use-within x days' determination after opening.

    It is also good practice to occasionally validate the allocated shelf life with further testing, especially if there have been any changes in manufacture. Staff at FTC can carry out shelf life testing to meet your requirements and give a full interpretation of the results.

  • New Product Development

    The FTC can structure and manage new product development programmes for companies, whether that involves modifying existing products or developing new ranges. The services provided for new product development start with concept development, often utilising our test kitchen for qualitative and quantitative prototype product testing, followed by pilot-scale production and process optimisation, packaging, shelf life analysis and sensory evaluation.

    Clients can work with technical staff at the FTC or our experts can work alongside staff at a company's site, to ensure that all aspects of new product development are adequately transferred whilst manufacturing scale operations are established.

    Innovation

    A review of the case studies of products developed at the centre illustrate how well equipped the FTC team are to assist companies create innovative new products. We regularly review new technologies, innovation awards and trends in new products across Wales and beyond, to encourage our clients to create products with a unique selling point.

    Recipe reformulation

    With an increasing focus on consumer health, the FTC team are well positioned to re-formulate products such as to reduce their salt, fat and sugar contents. In some cases it is advised to introduce the changes in phases so that consumers slowly adjust their expectations of the product and may not notice any difference. Reformulation trials would be accompanied by sensory analysis, compositional and microbiological testing, whilst also taking into account any guidance or legislative requirements for the type of product.

  • Accreditation (SALSA & BRC)

    Accreditation awards enable companies to be recognised for their high standards, leading to increased sales opportunities with major retailers. Staff at the FTC are trained to mentor your company to success in either the SALSA or BRC accreditation schemes. In addition to the extra business generated by accreditation, companies will also benefit from the efficiency of running a well organised and documented food safety system, together with increased reassurance that products are being manufactured to a consistently safe standard.

    SALSA

    SALSA is an acronym for 'Safe and Local Supplier Approval'. It is recognised as the leading food safety certification scheme for the UK's small food and drink producers, for those normally having between 1 and 50 full-time employees. It is widely accepted by both retailers and food service providers, making it the scheme of choice for both suppliers and buyers alike.

    To start the process, visit the SALSA website (www.salsafood.co.uk) to download a copy of the audit standard. Contact SALSA mentors at FTC to arrange a site visit, during which a pre-audit gap analysis will be carried out to determine further actions required to fulfil the requirements. Once registered, the SALSA scheme also provides on-line access to a range of guidance materials to assist in preparing for the audit.

    The four areas covered by the audit are Prerequisite Controls; HACCP & Management Systems; Documentation and the Premises. Food manufacturers will already have the basics in place and it is often just a matter of documenting current practices and implementing policies.

    A SALSA auditor will visit annually on a pre-arranged date to audit the company against the standard. Should any corrective actions be required, these can be submitted within 28 days. Certified companies can make use of the SALSA logo and will be listed in a register of SALSA-approved companies frequently browsed by buyers.

    BRC

    The British Retail Consortium Global Standard for Food Safety provides the next step up from SALSA for larger food companies. With 23,000 certified suppliers in 123 countries, it is recognised worldwide and is now often a fundamental requirement of leading retailers.

    Visit the website www.brcglobalstandards.com to register and download the audit standard. FTC staff are trained to mentor your company through the requirements and work with you to achieve certification. The scheme requires significant time and commitment to implement. The seven areas covered by the audit are Senior Management Commitment; The Food Safety Plan – HACCP; Food Safety and Quality Management System; Site Standards; Product Control; Process Control and Personnel.

    The outcome of the audit is graded from AA to D for announced audits and AA+ to D+ for unannounced audits. The grade depends on the number and type of non-conformities identified. Re-audits are required every 12 months, or 6 months at C grade or below. Successful companies can use the BRC logo, receive a certificate and be included in the BRC Directory.

Information

Want our help with your project?

Get in touch with us today on 01248 383 345, or email ftc@gllm.ac.uk, and we'll be happy to help.

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Penmynydd Road
Llangefni
LL77 7HY
01248 383 345

Food Technology Centre

Trosglwyddo gwybodaeth i’r sector Bwyd a Diod.

Transferring knowledge to the Food & Drink sector.


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