The marriage between Product Development and Food Safety
There are a lot of steps involved with the development and launch of a new product into the marketplace. Line extensions are a little easier than developing a new product that involves a new process....but either way, being aware of food safety even within the initial stages is a big plus.
When you develop a new product you determine:
- The base ingredient that you will be starting with. ie. beef, potato, etc.
- The additional ingredients that you wish to add into the product ie. flavours, colours, stabilizers etc.
- The process that you are going to put the product through ie. smoking, baking, fermenting
- The process flow that the product will have to pass through
- The type(s) of packaging that you are going to use on the product.
By including food safety knowledge during product development makes the launch run more smoothly with less possibility of rework.
Ingredients: By giving some forethought around the ingredients that you already have in the manufacturing facility you can avoid adding in new species or new allergens, each of which would add complexity to your HACCP program and processing.
Process: By developing products that maintain the process that you currently use in your facility ensures that the new product will fit easily into scheduling and manufacturing. However, there are times when a new process may be required in order to really develop something new and exciting. By incorporating HACCP and determining traffic and process flow at this stage you will be able to determine how to incorporate this new process into your existing manufacturing within minimal disruption to your schedule and flow.
Packaging: Again, it is always easier if the packaging stays within your comfort zone. But, when you want to truly innovate you will want to expand beyond your comfort zone and initiate something new. With packaging you will need the relationship between operations as well as product development and food safety/ quality to ensure that all aspects are covered. For example, new equipment, new process and traffic flow, addition to the HACCP program etc.
One of the best ways to ensure success within the product development process is to have a close relationship and incorporate HACCP, food safety principles during the development process. This ensures that when the product development has been completed no rework would need to be done because someone accidentally incorporated gluten (for instance) into a gluten free product.
If you need help with either product development or food safety please feel free to reach out to us for a free quote: firstname.lastname@example.org.