Accessories for Quality Maintenance

Food safety is an international concern, as huge number of food borne cases have been reported since past few years after consumption of unsafe food. According to the latest report published by WHO, every year about 4, 20,000 people across world dies due to food poisoning. These reported cases of food borne diseases have resulted in decreasing confidence of consumers towards Ready to eat food products. In order to regain that  trust, industries are  making all necessary efforts to transform their premises into food safety compliant, one which have all basic requirements for either avoiding or reducing the risk of making food unfit for consumption. Installment of Food Quality Accessories is one such effort on which company invests significantly to render product safety.

Food Quality Accessories can be defined as the umbrella term for all the supporting instruments, tools or equipments that helps in achieving food safety inside the food manufacturing industries for proper handling and storing of food in a way that effectively reduces the risk of individuals exposing to hazard.

Food Safety Accessories can be grouped into four classes depending on the principles of food safety for avoiding contamination of food and causing food diseases.

  1. Maintaining personal hygiene:

It is important for any food service safety that their workers must be familiar with general hygiene practices that help to maintain hygiene and prevent the spread of diseases. The quality accessories which help in maintaining the personnel hygiene are described below:

  • Hair Net- Disposable caps to stop hair falling into food, sensitive machinery or onto paintwork by providing full head coverage. Generally, made from soft polypropylene, are ideal for use in laboratories, food production area.
  • Gloves: People who work in the food and beverage industry use disposable polypropylene gloves on a regular basis, which act as a barrier in order to prevent the spread of germs and keep consumables from becoming contaminated.
  • Hand Dryer: Generally installed inside toilets, food production area and manufacturing premises for drying wet hands of the person for preventing microbial contamination as wet hands, becomes the fastest vector for spreading food borne microbes. Hand dryer with SS 304 and Polycarbonate ABS casing construction are suitable for installation within food industries.
  • Shoe Covers: Disposable shoe covers made from cast polyethylene to prevent contamination of the workplace from debris or bacteria brought in on from worker’s shoes, and protect footwear from splashes or staining. Each shoe cover has an elasticated opening that makes them quick and simple to put on and take off, while also ensuring that they stay securely in place.
  • Over sleeves: Disposable over sleeves are designed to protect forearms and sleeves without having to put a jacket or set of overalls on. Generally, these are elasticated at both ends to ensure that they stay securely in place and help prevent splashes from entering underneath.
  • Beard Net: Disposable beard snoods which are made from soft non-woven polypropylene, and are elasticated to ensure that they stay securely in place while working. Wearing a disposable beard snood or beard net protects against small hairs falling into food, sensitive machinery. The use of a beard snood also helps to reduce the risk of long hair being caught in rotating equipment.
  • Disposable Aprons: These are disposable LDPE aprons which are ideal for protecting clothes from stains caused by splashes and dirt in the workplace, and have waist ties that offer a close fit and help to ensure that the disposable apron doesn’t get in the way of work or caught in machinery.


  1. Properly cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces, equipment and utensils

Cleaning and sanitizing are the most important aspects of any sanitation program; therefore, sufficient time should be given to outline proper procedures and parameters. Detailed procedures must be developed for all food-product contact surfaces (equipment, utensils, etc.) as well as for non-product surfaces such as non-product portions of equipment, overhead structures, shields, walls, ceilings, lighting devices, refrigeration units and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, and anything else which could impact food safety. Identification of type of the cleaning tool is the crucial step of any plant sanitation program. Tools used for the cleaning in food industry are described below:

  • Wall Bracket: These are not only used for storage of cleaning equipments but also ensures good hygiene practices and extends shelf life of brush wares. This must be designed such that there are no crevices for bacteria buildup and are easy to clean. These are generally made up of Stainless Steel and Polypropylene.
  • Brooms: A broomis a cleaning tool consisting of usually stiff fibers (often made of materials such as polypropylene, polyesters and Stainless Steel) attached to, and roughly parallel to, a cylindrical handle, the broomstick. It must be designed in such way that provides effective cleaning.
  • Dustpan: It is usually used in combination with broom for collection of food debris and dust from floors and work surfaces. It is generally made up of Stainless Steel and polypropylene.
  • Brush: These are used for easy cleaning of equipments and hard-to-reach corners. The suitable material of construction is Stainless Steel and polypropylene.
  • Scrappers: These are Ideal for cleaning powder towers and other surfaces where extra force is needed to loosen dirt. Generally, scrappers used in food processing industry are made up of Polypropylene or Stainless Steel 304/316.


  1. Maintaining Controlled Environment:

Uncontrolled temperature and moisture in any part of the food production cycle can often leads to the growth of bacteria, mildew, or mold which can mean the difference between a product being safe and fresh versus unsafe and spoiled. Fortunately, these risks can be easily mitigated by using quality accessories like:

  • Air Curtains: These are also known as air doors which are installed at doors and windows of food processing facilities for reducing energy costs, containing smells, maintaining temperature and keeping flying insects out.

  • Strip Curtains: Food process industries uses strip curtains that are transparent curtain made up of non-phthalate material which are ideal for maintaining an ambient temperature of warehouse or cold store or any other area, keeping out dust/flies/pests, restricting the movement of air pollutants and control noise.

  • HVAC System: HVAC systems are milestones of building mechanical systems that is designed on the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer which provides thermal control and indoor comfort for product and workers respectively.
  • Floor Marking Tapes: These are Vinyl tapes which are used to demark specific area to maintain safety standards in the industry. It also helps workers to put materials and equipment back in right place.


  1. Implementing effective pest control

In food processing environments, flies and rodents infestation are considered as a big problem which can put product and business reputation at risk. Therefore, Pest control is an essential part of Good Manufacturing Practice in food processing from a hygiene, economic and regulatory viewpoint. Various Quality Accessories that act as gold standard in pest control are described below as follows:

  • Rodabox: These are rat catcher which is installed with mouse glue trap that act as wonderful tool to get rid of mouse as it more looks like surface of ordinary carton and box thus this easily traps mousse/rats. This is usually made up of iron and strong build.
  • Fly Catchers: It is an electrical device, which uses ultraviolet light to attract insects toward an electrified wire grid where they are electrocuted (making a zapping sound). These are used as chemical alternatives for pest control. They work by attracting all kinds of flying insects to a blue ultra-violet light. The insects then hit the killing board situated behind the fluorescent tubes. A small electrical current safe to our touch is passed through the ‘killing board’ humanely and instantly killing all types of flying insects. Usually, they are of two types, Fly Cather without glue pad and with glue pad. Former is installed in non-food processing areas whereas later one is installed in food processing area as it prevents the scattering of ashes of electrocuted insects.


It is of utmost importance that quality accessories being used inside food manufacturing premises can lead to the unhygienic conditions as well. Hence, it is recommended to use or give special preference to the selection of accessories being used, like its MOC, design and other parameters that can cause hazard. Just installation won’t be that effective, and each accessories requires specific cleaning and maintenance schedule should be strictly adhered with.




Good Document Practices

A famous saying goes like “If it isn’t documented, it didn’t happen”- therefore, it becomes mandatory for all food processors, ingredient manufacturers, and packaging suppliers to develop, document, implement and maintain all necessary documentation in order to maintain Food Safety Management System for establishing business in global level. Nowadays, even small businesses are expected to maintain documentation, or else they will fail to display FSMS in their premises. This need of proper document and record keeping has led to the birth of Good Documentation Practices (GDP) or Good Record Keeping Practices.

A. Good Documentation Practices-An Introduction

Good Documentation Practices is a mandate requirement for overall quality management systems (QMS) and risk management strategies (QRM). These are referred to, as practices that collectively and individually ensure documentation (whether paper or electronic) is attributable, legible, traceable, permanent, contemporaneously recorded, original and accurate. These practices have direct or indirect impact on all aspects of the quality of food substances/products and demonstrate evidence of adherence to GMP standards and/or any other applicable regulatory requirements. Good Document Practices help in achieving HACCP, FSSC 22000, HALAL, GFSI, BRC, SQF and other certifications and thus helps in gaining confidence of customers apart from complying to required guidelines.

B. Need of GDP

Following GDP in one’s food facility ensures-

  1. defined specifications and procedures for all materials being handled in facility,
  2. defined methods of manufacture and control,
  3. awareness in operators and all personnel – what to do and when to do it,
  4. proper flow of information among team, necessary for release of product,
  5. documented evidence, traceability, records and audit trail for investigation,
  6. availability of data for validation, review and statistical analysis

C. Basic Features for documentation

C.1. Attributable: Capturing information in the record form such that it is uniquely identified and used as per requirement on time.

C.2 Legible: Captured data should always be readable, understandable and should allow understanding of sequencing of steps or events in the record.

C.3. Contemporaneous: Process of documentation (on paper or electronically) at the time of the occurrence of an activity

C.4. Original: The data captured at source of data or information and should be fully reconstruct the conduct of the GMP activity.

C.5. Accurate: Data in documents should be correct, truthful, valid and reliable.

C.6. Complete: All data from analysis, including any data generated before a problem is observed, data generated after repeating part or all of the work, or re-analysis performed on the sample should be included in the data record.

C.7. Consistent: All elements of the analysis, such as the sequence of events, follow on and data files are date-stamped (all processes) and time stamped (when using a hybrid or electronic system) in the expected order and such data should be included in the record.

C.8. Enduring: All data recorded on authorized media should be preserved for a period of time, Data recorded on scrap paper or any other media which can be discarded later (e.g., backs of envelopes, laboratory coat sleeves or Post-It notes, etc.) are not considered enduring

C.9. Available: The complete collection of records should be available, accessed or retrieved for review and audit or inspection over the lifetime of the record.

D. Documentation Process:

  1. Preparation of Document:
    • All Documents must be accurate, consistent, completed and must be traceable.
    • Pages in the master document must be numbered as A of C (e.g., Page 25 of 50).
    • All documents must have the signature and date of the person who prepared, reviewed and approved the document.
    • All documents must have an effective date and a review period if applicable.
    • Full text spelling with the abbreviations in brackets must be used for the first time. Abbreviations must be used in place of full text spelling in the remaining part of the document.
    • Definitions shall be included in the document for reference. This is most effectively done by including the definitions in a table format, at the start or end of the document.
    • All documents shall have a unique identification number (including the version number).Use of uncontrolled documents and temporary recording practices (e.g., scraps of paper) shall be prohibited.
  1. Review and Approval of Documents
    • Documents within the Quality Management System to be regularly reviewed and kept up to date.
    • Unsigned or incomplete documents or records not be used to perform any task or considered as evidence of a completed task.
    • All GDP documents to be approved by Quality Assurance Manager.
  1. Issuance of GDP documents
    • Records shall be maintained for issuance and retrieval of documents with proper traceability of the person who issued the document.
    • Master copies of controlled documents (paper-based and electronic) must be stored in a secure manner and accessible only to authorized individuals.
  1. Recording/data capture on GMP documents
    • Handwritten entries to be made in a clear, legible, indelible manner.
    • Indelible ballpoint pen to be used to record data. Pencil or erasable or water-soluble ink pen shall not be used to complete the GMP documents.
    • Use of white ink, correction fluid or sticky notes (e.g., post-it notes) to correct the entry in GMP documents shall not be permitted.
    • Entries shall always be recorded at the time of activity in a contemporaneous manner. Date and time of completion of activity to be recorded in a predefined standard format as found suitable by the firm. The format of date and time should remain consistent throughout all the documentation formats across the firm. In case a printout generated by equipment/instrument/system has a different format, it shall be converted to the standard format while entering in logbooks/GMP documents.
    • Data to be recorded only in the format duly issued and approved by Quality Assurance.
    • Logbooks shall be kept for major or critical analytical testing, production equipment, areas where product has been processed and other usage logs.
    • If there is any repetition in any observation/signature/date then it should be rewritten again. Avoid using markings such as Ditto (–”–), “as above” or “do” shall not be used.
    • Handwritten signatures must be unique to the individual and listed within the Specimen signature register to ensure that the signature is traceable to the concerned
    • Any employee should not be permitted to sign for another member of staff unless delegated. Signatures must never be forged.
    • A single strike-out line must be used always to mark the incorrect entry in such a manner that original entry remains readable.
    • There shall be pre-defined retention periods for different sets of documents. An inventory of documents within the quality management system should be maintained.

  1. Revision of  documents
    • All revised documents shall mention its revision history.
    • Periodic reviews of controlled documents and forms shall be done as per approved procedure and shall be handled through a change approval process.
    • Versions of documents created shall be managed through logbooks.
    • A record shall not be destroyed before its stated retention period or validity without appropriate justification and consultation with Quality Assurance.
    • Any approved or under approval document shall not be discarded or destroyed without the appropriate stamp authorizing cancellation/obsolescence.

Documentation helps to build up a detailed map of what manufacturing function has done in the past and what it is doing now and thus provides the foundation of what it will do in future. GDP must be incorporated as an essential component of FSMS in all small and large-scale food industries and appropriate care must be taken to ensure its compliance with regulatory bodies.


UHT Pasteurization

There has always been one superficial line between food production and supply, production being less than the required demand of people. Areas enjoying surplus production of food products always tend to wastage because of perishable nature of food, whereas some places face inadequate supply. Thus condition arises where supplier need to provide high quality product with minimal changes, which can only be achieved by preventing spoilage during or after production, as well as in distribution chain. For combating these challenges, various types of food preservation techniques were introduced and implemented in food sector. Now widely used methods of food preservation, Ultra high temperature treatment, is gaining popularity among population as it assures the production of commercially sterile product having similar sensory attributes as possess by the product originally without UHT treatment.

Ultra High Temperature or Ultra Pasteurization processing goes by the name of UHT, one of the major preservation technique in dairy industries as it converts highly perishable milk into a product with shelf life extended from days to month and can be stored and transported without refrigeration condition. Furthermore, marginal nutritional and sensory changes in milk by its processing becomes the driving force for UHT products in market.

UHT processing is associated with aseptic packaging, one of the demanding technology and presents many scientific and technical opportunities.  UHT processing is generally defined as heating milk between 135 and 145 C for 1±10s. The basis of UHT is- sterilization of food before packaging and filling into pre-sterilized containers in sterile environment. The ultimate goal being maximising the destruction of microorganisms and minimize the chemical changes in product.

Component of UHT

UHT treatment requires both a sterilizer and an aseptic unit (for packaging the product) which are described below:

  1. Steriliser: A closed continuous chamber where controlled heating of product is done at 135 and 145 ˚C for 1 to 10 seconds for complete elimination of micro-organisms, including thermal resistant spores. Two methods of heating are employed for sterilization process:
  • Direct Heating: Product is in direct contact with heating medium such as steam, which need to be of food grade or potable quality. Main advantage of direct heating is that it does less damage to heat sensitive products (milk) as it is held at elevated temperature for a shorter period. Steam is briefly introduced into the product which is rapidly followed by flash cooling. The brevity of the treatment makes it possible to achieve very high product quality but the process becomes costly due to high-energy consumption.
  • Indirect Heating: The heating medium and product are not in direct contact, but separated by equipment contact surfaces. For achieving this heat exchangers are used as in case of normal pasteurization process. Heat exchangers can be defined as a system used for transferring heat between two or more fluids. Plate, tubular and scraped surface types of heat exchangers are used which makes the process cost effective as most of the heat energy can be recovered.

  1. Aseptic Packaging: Filling of a commercially sterile product into a sterile container under aseptic conditions and hermetically sealing the containers so that reinfection can be prevented. This results in a product, which is shelf-stable at ambient conditions and when UHT is coupled with aseptic packaging technology, then the product can be protected from post processing contaminates thus extending the shelf life of the product.

Advantages of UHT

  1. Products with longer shelf life:UHT pasteurization extends product’s shelf life by months.
  2. Products with less bacteria:High heat required during UHT pasteurization results in milk that is up to 99.9% bacteria-free and inactivates the highly thermal resistant bacterial spores.
  3. Products does not require refrigeration: When the UHT process is coupled with aseptic filling equipment, then the product can be stored and transported at ambient temperature i.e. requirement of refrigerator is not needed thus cutting the extra cost.

Effects of UHT processing on Milk

  1. Whey protein denaturation and formation of protein complexes: Β-lacto globulin, which makes the major part of whey protein, is denatured in irreversible manner as they are heated above 70°C. Denaturation of lactoglobulin begins with dissociation of its very compact dimeric structure followed by unfolding of the globular monomer, which leads to exposure of its active free sulfhydryl group, which is normally buried inside the globular structure and forms complexes with caseins and lactalbumin. The extent of whey protein denaturation is greater for indirect heating than for direct heating.

2. Fouling or deposit formation: During UHT processing of milk, a deposit builds up on the heat exchanger, which reduces the operational efficiency of the plant as the deposit acts as a partial insulator and reduces the rate of heat transfer to the milk. The nature of the deposit varies throughout the plant as it depends on the temperature of the heat exchanger. In general, these can be classified into two types :

  • Type A: occurs at the lower temperatures in a UHT plant, up to ~110˚C; it is quite voluminous and consists largely of protein.
  • Type B: which occurs at temperatures >~110˚C, is hard and compact and consists largely of minerals, principally calcium phosphate.
  1. Maillard reactions: During UHT Processing, initial step is reaction between lactose and lysine of milk protein leads to the formation of several intermediate compounds such as hydroxyl methyl furfural (HMF), formic acid, methyl ketones, and formation of advanced Maillard products such as galactosyl-pyranone and brown-coloured melanoidins.
  2. Lactose isomerisation: During UHT Treatment, Isomerisation of lactose (galactose ± glucose) to lactulose (galactose ± fructose) occurs which is considered as the most reliable index of heat treatment of UHT milk, as it is not present in unheated milk and it changes little during storage of the milk It has been proposed that the lactulose content of UHT milk should be <600mg/L to enable it to be distinguished from sterilised milk, which should have >600mg/L of lactulose.

Effects on UHT milk during storage

  1. Gelation: It is a major defect which limits the shelf-life of UHT milk, where the milk thickens over storage and eventually turns into a gel having custard like consistency. It was reported to be caused by the heat-resistant bacterial enzymes but it can be also caused by plasmin, a naturally occurring protease in milk, which is quite heat stable and can remain active in UHT milk.


  1. Flavour: UHT milk immediately after production has a sulphury flavour and is characterised by an array of volatile sulphur compounds including hydrogen sulphide, methane thiol, dimethyl disulphide, dimethyl sulphide, carbon disulphide, carbonyl sulphide, dimethyl trisulphide, dimethyl sulphoxide and dimethyl sulphone. Methanethiol, Dimethyl sulphide and Dimethyl trisulphide are identified as major contributors for sulphurous flavour.

UHT processing is a mature technology and now it is also used for processing of other food products such as soups, ketchups, custard, flavoured milk, fruit juices etc. It sterilizes food products by destroying harmful bacteria and pathogenic microorganisms through a tightly controlled thermal process and combines the sterile product with the sterile packaging material in a sterile environment; the end result is a shelf-stable product requiring no refrigeration.


COVID19- The contagion

World is facing the warmth of Coronavirus outbreak, initially reported on 31st December 2019 and was then declared as global pandemic by WHO (World Health Organisation) in the statement released by its Director General’s opening remark  on 11 March 2020, due to its instant increase in the cases all over the world affecting large no of people. Before declaring it as pandemic, outbreak of COVID-19 was declared as global health emergency on 30 January 2020. Pandemic term has been used instead of epidemic due to its widespread rise in cases over a wide geographical area, unlike epidemic where there are stable number of cases during outbreak.

Summary to SARS-CoV-2

Coronavirus had been known dated back since 1960’s, having ability of causing illness in animals & humans, mostly affecting respiratory system causing disease such as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

SARS-CoV-2 i.e. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus-2 is a new infectious virus responsible for the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 also known as COVID-19. Coronavirus are positive stranded RNA viruses with layer of protein & enveloping layer of lipid. They primarily target cells of respiratory and gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals including birds and mammals. Its epidemiological information are yet unknown.


Origination & Transmission  

Its origination was marked from Huanan seafood market (Live animal & seafood market in Wuhan), China. Several patients were hospitalized on 31 December 2019 with symptoms of severe pneumonia and subsequent increase in similar cases in China, people having travel history to China and people coming in contact with respiratory symptoms. Source of SARS-CoV-2 is believed to be from bats or possibly pangolins but its yet to be confirmed.

Virus have proliferation capacity when it is inside host and hence can be said they are incapable of multiplying independently. In humans, virus can reach respiratory or gastrointestinal cells either through ocular mucosa (eyes), nasal mucosa (Nose) or buccal mucosa (Mouth) and attacks the cells over their by multiplying aggressively.

Transmission of corona virus in humans are mainly either by direct transmission or indirect transmission.

  1. Direct Transmission: When healthy person comes in contact with respiratory secretion of infected person such as droplets from coughing & sneezing.
  2. Indirect Transmission: When healthy person comes in contact with infected objects or surface that are infected by the respiratory droplets of infected person.   Healthy person coming in contact with infected objects and touching their skin, cloth, eyes, nose etc. can transmit the virus.

Corona virus is able to survive on surfaces for certain period of time. Please refer below table for details-


Surface Type

Survival Time

(Approx. Hours)














  1. Currently respiratory mode is the only known way of virus transmission from human to human.
  2. Incubation period for this disease is between 2- 14 days.


Major drawback researchers are facing right now are not having enough information on its epidemiology. Trends shows this virus is majorly impacting respiratory system, with early symptoms being of flu like symptoms such as high fever, dry cough, difficulty in breathing, muscle pain, headache, running nose, sore throat, diarrhea, congestion and weakness. While patients with severe cases are observed with severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress, sepsis and sepsis shock that can lead to death.

Relatively lower cases in children has been reported, and severely affected cases are of elderly people and those having history of health problem of high BP, heart issues, diabetes or lack of immunity.     


  1. People may be infected even without showing any of the above-mentioned symptom.
  2. People showing no symptoms are also potent of transmitting the virus.   


Guidelines has been released by WHO on prevention of infection for the public, which are basic preventive measures including frequent washing of hand, avoid touching of eyes, mouth, nose and skins, avoid touching of skin, proper disposal of respiratory discharge, avoiding contact with infected person, good respiratory hygiene.

Some of the general preventive method that can be consider are-

  1. Avoiding handshake & maintaining approx. one-meter distance from people having flu type symptoms.
  2. Avoiding crowded place, travelling, having foods from outside.
  3. Observing self-isolation & social distancing in case of having flu like symptoms.
  4. Covering face using mask in case suffering from any flu like symptoms.
  5. Frequent Hand Wash especially before & after touching one’s eyes, mouth, nose, switches, doorknobs, or surfaces that are publically used and before having food. Soap is able to disintegrate its outer lipid layer that is soluble in non-polar components.
  6. Incorporating diet consisting of high amount of Vitamin C.
  7. Use of warm water for consumption as well as for washing to increase the efficiency of cleaning.
  8. Sanitizing hands with sanitizer with more than 65% alcohol content
  9. Sanitizing masks & other personal, health care items under UV light that can breakdown the protein structure of virus.
  10. Prefer to be in dehumidified, dry, warm, bright and naturally ventilated space.


No specific treatment or vaccines for COVID-19 has been yet developed. Researchers from all over the world are working on vaccines for this disease and it shall not be wrong to say that for present scenario, prevention is the only possible way that can reduce the spread of COVID-19. A best possible way to prevent the spread of disease is to identify the person susceptible to virus and have them in proper isolation. Antiviral medicines used for treatment of MERS-CoV are being investigated for treatment of SARS-CoV-2.

Country and Technical Guidance for COVID-19 has been provided and published by WHO on their official website. (  2019/technical guidance).

It is of enormous importance to have awareness and knowledge on the recent update and advancement on COVID-19. Prevention and preparedness are the only way out of this crisis. Even measures imposed by government can be effective only if they are properly implemented and  acknowledged by citizen of the country.

“Break The Chain”.



HVAC System

Working spaces or indoor areas should provide thermal comfort along with high indoor quality air. HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, is a system in whole to provide healthy and comfortable internal conditions by removing hot air. All of the effectiveness of HVAC depends on its design. Importantly it is designed for minimal use of non-renewable energy and less water pollutant emissions.

HVAC systems are essential in a number of industries, and provide the atmosphere necessary for food to be kept fresh and to ripen so that it is safe to eat as well as flavorful, and is also known as climate control. Because certain types of plants prefer humidity levels of 50% or greater, in hot and dry environments quality HVAC systems are vital for creating an environment where fragile fresh produce can flourish.

Need for HVAC System

Need for HVAC can be for following listed uses like

  1. To improve air quality of the confined space for providing comfortable working environment to the workers,
  2. To regulate moisture in the processing area to minimize the growth of water activity in environment hence preventing the microbial growth
  3. To improve process quality, by providing contaminant free, filtered air in the processing room preventing any sort of contamination
  4. To maintain constant temperature throughout the year as there can be wide fluctuation in temperature during various time period of year. To keep uniformity of comfort level HVAC can be used.

Types of HVAC System

  1. Heating and Air Conditioning Split System: A wall mounted split system air conditioner consists of two parts; a wall mounted indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The indoor unit blows cool air into the room, and the outdoor unit dissipates the heat from the cooled area. Refrigerants are used to cool or heat the air.
  1. Hybrid Heat Split System: A hybrid heat system reacts to changing temperatures and automatically adjusts to the most efficient energy saving method available to heat or cool the space. It can be a fuel-saving alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems.
  2. Duct Free Split Heating and Air Conditioning System: Ductless free split-system air-conditioners have numerous potential applications in commercial buildings.
  3. Packaged Heating & Air Conditioning System: It has higher cooling or heating capacity and is usually able to cool an entire commercial building. The nominal capacities ranges from 3 tons to 15 tons. The conditioned air is transferred to the space to be conditioned through ducting which is usually hidden in the ceiling and wall of the building. The unit is placed outside the building, a special room in a building or even on top of a roof.

Components and working of HVAC System

  1. ThermostatThe thermostat is usually the most visible part of HVAC system. They are set at the most accessible part so that they can be changed according to need. When the ambient temperature becomes too cold or too hot, the thermostat will trigger the heat exchanger or the evaporator coil-condensing unit combo to begin circulating warmed or cooled air as per requirement.
  2. FurnaceThe furnace is the key component of HVAC system. It requires the largest substantial space typically a special place designed for that purpose. Its function is to heat supply air which is to be distributed to various rooms of building via the HVAC. This heating process is accomplished using one of four possible heat sources combustion (burning natural gas, oil, coal, or propane), electric resistance, heat pump, or solar energy collected on site.
  3. Heat exchanger- The heat exchanger are inside furnace unit’s housing. This component switches on when the furnace is activated by thermostat to produce warmer temperatures. The heat exchanger pulls in cool air, heats it, and circulates the resulting heated air via ducts and out through the vents.
  4. Evaporator coil –It acts to cool the air when thermostat is set to lower temperatures. Located in a metal enclosure on the furnace’s exterior, to the top or side, the evaporator coil works similarly to an automobile radiator to produce cool air, which is then circulated through the ductwork.
  5. Condensing unit- It is connected to the evaporator coil. This unit are filled with refrigerant gas. When the refrigerant has been cooled to a liquid by heat exchanger with the exterior air, the condensing unit pumps the liquid to the evaporator coil to be evaporated into a gas.
  6. Refrigerant linesThe refrigerant lines carry a refrigerant substance to the condensing unit vaporized in the form of a gas, and return it to the evaporator coil in liquid form. These “lines” are actually narrow tubes manufactured from a durable heat- and cold- resistant metal such as copper or aluminum.
  7. DuctworkDuctwork refers to the system of ducts that transports air warmed or cooled by the system to the various areas of building. They may be manufactured from steel, flexible plastic, polyurethane, fiberglass, or fabric.
  8. Vents- These are rectangular outlets which transfer the heated or cooled air from the duct system into the individual rooms. Made of high- and low-temperature safe metal, vents are located on or near the ceiling and are usually fronted with angled slats.

Air Handling Units:

Air handling unit is a device used to regulate and circulate air as part of a heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. An air handler is usually a large metal box containing a blower, heating or cooling elements, filter racks or chambers, sound attenuators, and dampers. Air handlers usually connect to a ductwork ventilation system that distributes the conditioned air through the building and returns it to the AHU. Sometimes AHUs discharge (supply) and admit (return) air directly to and from the space served without ductwork.


Air Compressor

Having wide application in majorly all industry and factories, air compressors provide compressed air by converting electrical energy or power to potential energy. In simpler terms, it is a machine that extracts air from the atmosphere and compresses it into a holding chamber. The energy contained in the compressed air can be used for a variety of applications. Pressure gauge, safety valve is used for monitoring & assuring the safe operation.

Components of Air Compressor: The basic components of an air compressor are

  1. Cylinder Head: The cylinder head consists of pockets for holding the intake/suction and delivery valves. They also have air cooling fins or water jacket for cooling water passage. There are usually network of pipes for cooling water and compressed air delivery to the next successive stage.
  2. Piston and Cylinder wall: The piston moves inside the cylinder wall or the liner, reciprocating up and down. The liner supports and guides the piston, forming a main part of the air compression chamber.
  3. Intercooler and After cooler: The intercoolers and the after coolers are usually mounted on the body of the compressor allowing the hot compressed air to exchange its heat with the forced circulation water. Some air compressors are cooled by forced circulation of ambient air itself.
  4. Suction Filter: Filter is usually mounted onto the cylinder head allowing filtered air to enter compressor unit.
  5. Engine: air is compressed by pulling in atmospheric air, reducing its volume and increasing its pressure.
  6. Storage Tank: Storage tank is used to hold the pressurized air & it releases the air as per requirement.
  7. Inlet and Outlet Valve: Inlet valve allows air into the machine to be compressed as the piston pushes upward and keeps the inlet valve shut, which in turn opens the discharge valve which allows the air taken in through the inlet to be compressed.

Working of Air Compressor:

  1. Valve head helps in sucking the air in from atmosphere due to the movement of piston in cylinder in downward direction
  2. While piston moving up, the air get pressurized and air is compressed.
  3. This increase in pressure forces the discharge valve to open leading to its movement into the storage tank.
  4. Continuous movement of piston in upward and downward direction leads to increased pressure in the tank.
  5. Motor shuts down once the pressure reaches the higher limit and starts working when the pressure reaches lower limit, making the cycle continuous.

Types and Method of Air Compressor:

Method of air compression for air compressors are dynamic displacement and positive displacement.

  1. Positive-displacement compressors: Forces air in a chamber and volume of chamber is decreased to compress the air. Once the maximum pressure is reached, outlet valve opens and air is discharged into the outlet system from the compression chamber. Example of such air compressors are reciprocating and rotary type.
  2. Reciprocating type-uses pistons driven by a crankshaft to deliver gases at high pressure. It is of two type
  • Single Stage/Single Acting– Air is drawn in and compressed on one side of the piston. In this case, the downward stroke of the piston draws in the air, and the upward stroke compresses it.
  • Multi Stage/Double Acting-It has compression chambers on both sides of the piston. On the down stroke, air is drawn in on the top of the piston while air is compressed on the bottom side. On the upstroke, air is drawn into the bottom side while air is compressed on the top side.
  1. Rotary air compressors: Pump works in cycles. Over each cycle a volume is created in contact with the chamber where pressure is to be lowered. By motion, molecules from the vacuum chamber pass into the volume created by the pump.
  • Root blower compressor: This is a positive displacement lobe pump which pumps fluid with a pair of meshing lobes. It consists of two rotors with lobes rotating in air tight casing. The casing has inlet and outlet parts on opposite sides.
  • Screw Compressor: It is a type of gas compressor using rotary-type positive-displacement mechanism. There are two meshing helical screws, known as rotors, to compress the gas. The meshing rotors force the gas through the compressor, and the gas exits at the end of the screws.
  1. Dynamic displacement: Centrifugal compressorsand axial compressors are employed in such compressors. A rotating part imparts its kinetic energy to the air which is eventually converted into pressure energy.
  2. Axial air compressor: To produce large air flow, they have set of fan blade. The axial compressors are largely used for ventilation and as part of air processing.
  3. Radial air compressor: They draw in air to the center of an impeller, and then accelerate it outward toward its perimeter. There it impinges upon a diffuser plate and outlet scroll, where velocity decreases and pressure increases.

Good suppliers of Air Compressors include Atlas Copco, Kaeser, Ingersoll Rand, Elgi, etc.


Compressed Air Dryers

Compressed air might have moisture content in them and if reached to the processing environment or processing equipment, can adversely affect the quality of product by causing undesirable changes in them. Hence it is necessary to have all water or moisture to be removed from air before coming in contact to food products. In this scenario, air dryers come into picture, which removes content of water vapor from air. Air dryers are commonly found in a wide range of industrial and commercial facilities. The process of air compression concentrates atmospheric contaminants, including water vapor. Some cases of rusting in tanks or tools, chances of being emulsified with grease, washing out lubrication oils etc., are some of the disadvantages of water vapor in air.

Application of Air Dryer

Compressed air contains more water vapor content than the air in atmospheric condition. There are chances they can condense in the pipelines or can come in contact with critical equipment or product causing corrosion or rusting of equipment, affecting the effectiveness of equipment and reducing the shelf life of product by initiating microbial growth like fungus and molds. Air dyer removes water from compressed air by employing different technologies that are discussed further. Water content in compressed air are measured by pressure dew point i.e., PDP, where low value of PDP indicates less amount of water vapor in the compressed air.

Types of Air Dryer

Performance characteristics of air dryer are typically defined by the dew point and depending upon there working they can vary. There are mainly four types of air dryers that are being discussed here. Air dryers are widely categorised into primary and secondary types and the major four categories comes in this.

  1. Regenerative desiccant dryer: The compressed air is passed through a pressure vessel with two towers filled with a media such as activated alumina, silica gel, molecular sieve or other desiccant material. This desiccant material attracts the water from the compressed air via absorption. As the water clings to the desiccant, the desiccant bed becomes saturated. The dryer is timed to switch towers based on a standard NEMA cycle, once this cycle completes some compressed air from the system is used to purge the saturated desiccant bed by simply blowing the water that has adhered to the desiccant off. The tower is drying tower and regenerative tower.
  2. Refrigerated dryer: Refrigeration dryers employ two heat exchangers, one for air-to-air and one for air-to-refrigeration. However, there is also a single heat exchanger that combines both functions. The compressors used in this type of dryer are usually of the hermetic type and the most common gas used is R-134a and R-410a for smaller air dryers up to 100 CFM. Older and larger dryers still use R-22 and R-404a refrigerants. A refrigerated dryer delivers a dew point not lower than approximately 35 °F (2 °C).
  3. Deliquescent dryer: A deliquescent dryer typically consists of a pressure vessel filled with a hygroscopic medium that absorbs water vapor. The medium gradually dissolves or deliquesces to form a solution at the base of the pressure vessel. The liquid must be regularly drained from the vessel and new medium must be added. A deliquescent dryer delivers a dew point suppression that fluctuates with air temperature. Typically, this suppression is 20 °F (11 °C) below the compressed air temperature.
  4. Membrane dryer: In a Membrane dryer the compressed air is first filtered with a high-quality coalescing filter. This filter removes liquid water, oil and particulate from the compressed air. In order to desorb the water Vapors, the partial flow of dried air expanded to atmospheric and passed through outside of the hollow fiber bundle in counter flow direction which will flush out the moisture.

It is not always required to have compressed air operating at minimum dew point as it can be economically not feasible, as reducing pressure dew point can be really expensive. It is advised to supply the degree of dryness needed for each application along with considering all other operating parameters in mind while selecting the correct air dryer.


Corrective Action Preventive Action (CAPA)

For effective food safety management system in an organization it is important to have deep knowledge on the problems by identifying its root cause to fight it. Corrective action and preventive action (CAPA) is an investigative process for determining the proper disposal of problems by identifying the root cause of problem and taking preventive action against it to prevent its recurrence.

Purpose of CAPA is to take appropriate, effective, and comprehensive corrective and/or preventive actions. CAPA helps in identify and investigate existing and potential product and quality problems. It works by collecting and analyzing information based on appropriate statistical methodology as necessary to detect recurring quality problems. CAPA ensures that problems are detected and resolved without its recurrence. It is also linked to various other requirements such as complaint files, non-conforming product, acceptance activities, servicing, audits, reports of correction and removal (recall)

How to Implement CAPA

Two approach for implementing CAPA is corrective action and preventive action, both of which deals with long term goal of achieving problem free process. Once a problem is detected, before going for long term solution it is important to address the problem immediately. For which comes correction that involves repair, rework, or adjustment and relates to the disposition of an existing nonconformity.

Corrective Action: Initiation of systematic set of activities as soon as problem is communicated. It involves describing of problem so as to reach the root cause of problem. It is a long term approach which generally comes up after studying which tells more specifically about the root cause of problem. It is important to validate and verify the corrective action.

Preventive Action: Preventive action recognizes the value of the information and actions taken during the corrective action function. Once a root cause has been physically described, it is easy to define the problem being in system, policies, procedures or in any other step.

Elements of CAPA system

  1. Data Analysis: Analyzing processes, work operations, concessions, quality audit reports, quality records, service records, complaints, returned product, and other sources of quality data to identify nonconforming product, or other quality problems. Appropriate statistical methodology should be employed where necessary to detect recurring quality problems and establishing the data resources.

Common Statistical Techniques for data analysis are pareto charts, run charts, control charts, mean and standard deviation, Graphical methods (fish bone diagrams, histograms, scatter plots spreadsheets) etc.

  1. Investigate Cause: Investigating the cause of nonconformities relating to product, process, and the quality system is a must. Investigation steps to be followed are
    1. Identify the problem and characterize
    2. Determine scope and impact
    3. Investigate data, process, operations and other sources of information
    4. Determine root cause if possible
  1. Possible root causes: It can be in system, manufacturing procedure, training, design, management policies, change control, purchasing/ Supplier quality, documentation, maintenance etc.
  1. Root cause analysis tools: Commonly used tools -Fish bone diagrams, 5“why’s” and fault tree analysis.
  2. Identify Action: Action(s) needed to correct and prevent recurrence of non-conforming product and other quality problems should be timely identified.

After identifying action, take action by

    1. Identifying Solutions
    2. Develop action plan for corrective action/ preventive action
    3. Consider the risk posed by the problems as not all problems require the same level of investigation and action.
  1. Verify/ Validate Effectiveness: Verifying or validating the corrective and preventive action to ensure that such action is effective and does not adversely affect the finished product which can be checked by ensuring that the proposed solution works perfectly or by checking it solution has created other potential non conformances. All verification/validation protocols should be established and data should be reviewed against the activities.


Perishable nature of food and its potential of being risk to health requires traceability in agri-food sector. Companies need to keep check on their products upstream and downstream process. Traceability is the ability to track any food through all stages of production, processing and distribution (including importation and at retail). Traceability should mean that movements can be traced one step backwards and one step forward at any point in the supply chain. Wide range of technological option are present, which facilitates and automates the data collection e.g., RFID (Radio Frequency Identification).

Traceability can be categorised into

  1. Supplier traceability: Provides information of suppliers for each raw material.
  2. Client traceability: Provides accurate whereabouts of the product after leaving the company premises.
  3. Process traceability: Provides information of product during various stages of processing.

Traceability should extend to identify the source of all food inputs such as raw materials, additives, other minor ingredients and packaging.

Benefits of Traceability

Traceability ensures immediate corrective actions to be implemented quickly and effectively when something goes wrong such as product recall. When a potential food safety problem is identified, whether by a food business or a government agency, an effective traceability system can help isolate and prevent contaminated products from reaching consumers. Traceability allows food businesses to target the product(s) affected by a food safety problem, minimizing disruption to trade and any potential public health risks.

Process Improvements: Improvements in product tracing often results in decreased error rates, increased product selection accuracy, and streamlined document management to more effectively manage and maximize work flow.

Increased Supply Chain Confidence: More efficient recalls that result in supply chain participants increasingly demanding improved product tracing performance from trading partners.

Return to Business as Usual: Faster recovery of normal business activities after a significant recall; faster verification that the business is not implicated in a recall

Insurance/Liability Cost Reduction: Some insurance providers require product tracing capability before they underwrite certain insurance policies for firms within the food industry.

Emergency Planning for Traceability

Preparedness: When planning for an emergency situation, traceability provides greater visibility into a supply chain, thereby helping be better prepared if something goes wrong.

Response: In case something goes wrong, traceability improves the agility of the response by all stakeholders.

Recovery: During the recovery phase, traceability allows the industry and regulators to maintain or rebuild trust with consumers into the safety and resiliency of the food system.

Prevention: Traceability allows for the determination of causality of the problem through root cause analysis, thereby preventing future issues.

Food Standard Requirement

  1. Food receipt: In relation to food receipt, a food business must be able to provide information about what food it has on the premises and where it came from. A food business must provide, to the reasonable satisfaction of an authorized officer upon request, the following information relating to food on the food premises:
    1. The name and business address of the vendor, manufacturer or packer or, in the case of food import, the name and business address of the importer; and
    2. The prescribed name or, if there is no prescribed name, an appropriate designation of the food.
    3. This means that a food business must not receive a food unless it is able to identify the name of the food and the name of the supplier.
  1. Food recall: A food business engaged in the wholesale supply, manufacture or importation of food must have a system, set out in a written document, to ensure it can recall unsafe food. The system should include records covering:
    1. Production records
    2. What products are manufactured or supplied
    3. Volume or quantity of products manufactured or supplied
    4. Batch or lot identification (or other markings)
    5. Where products are distributed
    6. Relevant production records.

This information should be readily accessible in order to know what, how much and from where product needs to be recalled.


Packaging Quality Control

Quality of packaging material can only be assured only if it meets standard of excellence as well as fulfill necessary attributes. Quality control program always include packing and labeling of the content. Net content control being one of the important parameter, which determines the accuracy of the content, in relation to commodity contained in a package, it means the quantity by weight, measure or number of such commodity contained in that package, excluding the packaging or wrapper weight.

Packaging: is a technological art of confining product in enclosed environment to protect the product in the chain of distribution, storage, sales and usage. It includes activity like designing the packaging material in accordance to the intended use i.e., depending upon the product. Objective of packaging is to achieve and provide physical protection things, shock, vibration, compression, temperature etc., barrier protection from oxygen, water vapor, dust etc. and providing controlled atmospheres keep the contents clean & fresh, prevent containment and agglomeration, for efficient marketing by efficiently designing package graphic design and physical design, providing security to deter tampering and also can have tamper evident features to help indicate tampering. Apart from all above stated objectives, packaging provide convenience in distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, reclosing, reuse, dispensing. Packaging helps in portion control by serving single serving packaging having precise amounts of content to control usage.

Types of Packaging

  1. Primary Packaging: Packing material comes in direct contact with product and holds it which is usually the smallest unit of distribution or use
  1. Secondary Packaging: It is the outside of primary packaging, used to group primary packages together
  2. Tertiary Packaging: Tertiary packaging is used for bulk handling, warehouse storage & transport shipping. The most common form is a palletized unit load that packs tightly into containers.

Packing material used should not be contaminating the product on the other hand should be good barrier to outer environment like temperature, relative humidity, dust and most importantly contaminants.

Labelling: Any written, electronic or graphic communications on the packaging or on a separate but associated label, displaying information about a product on its container, packaging or the product itself. Labelling promote brand identification, describes the product by providing information regarding the food product in terms of contents, nutritional values, cost, product usage methods, shelf life etc. Labelling can be customized to make it attractive by using bright graphics. Label should consist of Maximum Allowable Variation (MAV) i.e., maximum weight deviation allowed from the label stated weight on the individual package of the food product below which the product is unacceptable, and label weight, i.e., the weight that is declared on the label of the package that indicates the net contents of the package and is seen by customers when they buy food products.

Labelling should include

  1. Name of the food
  2. List of ingredients in descending order
  3. Nutritional information per 100gm/ml
  4. Name and complete address of manufacturer
  5. Net content by weight or Volume
  6. Lot no/Batch identification
  7. Date of Manufacturing /Packing
  8. Best Before Date
  9. Veg/ Non Veg logo of appropriate
  10. Dimensions
  11. Specific declaration of flavors
  12. Name and completed Address of Importer, in case of Imported Food
  13. Country of Origin for Imported food
  14. FSSAI Logo & License Number

Great attention should be given in not using stickers, not putting legal metrology on labels, make false claims or using pictures/ graphics that miss represent product to the customers. Mislabeling is considered criminal fraud, and is not dependent on the fact, if following food safety or not.

Packaging validation and verification should be done to option the required results in respect to quantity and quality of the product. All techniques can be used for validation and verification such as physical, chemical and biological techniques or can be combined with other techniques to get assurance.