As the global population increases annually, the demand for food products continues to rise, putting more pressure on food production facilities worldwide. From the bread we eat for breakfast to the baked chicken we serve on our dinner table, all the food we consume comes from food processing facilities in and outside the country in one way or another. Needless to say, food processing and production companies have become vital components of our survival.
The food processing industry today is under constant pressure from a variety of different directions. It continues to have to deal with operational issues involving food quality while attempting to meet increased demand limited by a supply chain that is rife with disruptions and bottlenecks. Here are three common food processing industry challenges confronting business owners today and how they might solve them:
Perhaps the most vital challenge in any food processing operation is maintaining food safety standards. This challenge has remained a critical point for food processors worldwide for obvious reasons. Upholding food safety in the food processing industry can be addressed by focusing on safety plans that are product- and process-specific. Processors need a comprehensive safety program that focuses on dealing with cleaning and sanitation, control of materials, commitment to food regulations, and adopting a food safety culture within the facility. Also, the entire food production process should be documented and carefully tracked to ensure that every food product meets all required standards and is safe for sale and consumption.
Food preservation in the food processing industry is critical to prolong food shelf life and maintain product quality. For centuries, food freezing has been used as an effective method to avoid spoilage, preserve food and prevent microorganism growth. Today, food freezing for food preservation poses a challenge to food processors in terms of maintaining the right temperature inside food production facilities for all types of food. At times, this can be quite a challenge when the right knowledge and process know-how are lacking in the operation. Adopting the right refrigeration equipment and facilities, such as chillers and cold storage, should be prioritized when running a food processing operation. At the same time, all staff should undergo proper training on workflow practices and how to properly handle the refrigeration equipment they use. Routine equipment maintenance should be scheduled and strictly observed.
Meeting Supply Chain Demands
The pressure to produce more has been thrust upon food processors as the demand for food products exponentially rises. In recent times, we witnessed the challenge firsthand of meeting the supply chain demand when it was under scrutiny during the peak of the recent COVID-19 pandemic and other natural disasters. Modern problems require modern solutions. That is why the use of automation and technology can help food production facilities produce products more efficiently and cost-effectively. Moreover, since the rise in demand is also driven by changes in consumer buying habits, the utilization of technology can pave the way for food processors to develop novel, innovative food products that address customer health, wellness, and other needs.
Time and time again, the food processing industry has been challenged and tested, especially during the recent world calamities and pandemic crisis. Though the food demand soared high, the food processing industry courageously took it as a challenge to strengthen the supply chain and face the other key problems head-on. This serves as proof-positive that regardless of the challenges, food processors will continue to diligently seek effective solutions that address and favorably impact the community they serve.