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Raw Material

Quality Control :

SYNOPSIS: 

The general principles of quality control have remained the same. There is a tendency today to use the term instead of control. Assurance means to make certain whereas “to control”.
The approach to the quality maintenance has varied greatly in large and small factories in different countries; in some places control hardly exists and in others there are laboratories carrying out many analytical tests, often meaningless in relation to the product. Packaging has seen many changes in olden days packages had simple over laps, now most confectionery and chocolate are in heat-sealed protective wraps. The packing material, whether film or laminate is resistant to the passage of water vapor and gases, and also keeps out most insects.  

Principle of Quality Control:
 In the confectionery Industry, the past sixty to seventy years have seen a change from the craft of the single worker to mass production methods with much technology. The technologists have developed the product and engineers have constructed machinery to make the product consistently to standards laid down by the technologists and marketing personnel. Quality and production to a standard then become a close control of raw materials, instrumentation at all the stages of the process and the statistical examination of the finished product.  

Who decides the Standard of Quality?
In the development of a new product or in the changing the process for an existing product, the quality standard is set by the sales and marketing executive. In the confectionery industry, quality will also include the packing, where there are elaborate boxes used for chocolate assortments and the simple printed wrapper of a chocolate covered bar that just tells the buyer what is inside and gives protection to the product. Quality control department is responsible for the quality of the product. The quality department should consider quality only not quantity.

How should Quality control be organized?

There are 3 stages of operation in the control of quality

1) Raw Ingredients
2 )Process of manufacture, and    
3) Inspection of the finished product.

The prime responsibilities of quality control depts. are the approval of raw materials for use in production and the inspection of the finished product.

Raw materials:
The acceptance or rejection of raw materials is normally the duty of the Analytical Chemists Dept. Their duty is to decide whether the material is good or not. Inspection is usually combined with sampling and is the most important part of aw material inspection. A sampler must be reliable.

 The supplier:
Knowing the supplier f raw material and the supplier’s method of manufacturer and quality control greatly influences the degree of inspection to be carried out at receiving end. It is necessary for a senior quality control chemist and purchasing executive to visit the supplier and to agree on specifications, type of packing, batch signs and keeping periods. In many cases supplier will give a certificate of analysis with each delivery and with bulk tanker deliveries.

Bulk delivery for raw materials are delivered to large factories in tank truck or rail tank cars. When the trucks arrive at the receiving factory the contents which are delivered in to the storage containers must be inspected first. The sample must always be tasted and examined and a tanker delivery would be made from approved batches.

The most recent improvement for delivery of raw materials is to use heavy-gauge polythene bags or to line the containers mentioned with thinner polythene bags.
Analytical chemists will conduct tests on raw materials delivered. If delivery is accepted then it will be transferred to production batches.

Process control:
In confectionery industry great changes in process methods has occurred. In the batch process control is largely in the hands of 2 persons one weighs out the ingredients according to the recorded recipe and other who makes the batch of the product. The larger the quantity of product manufactured, the greater will be the number of batches, and the more likely will be the risk.  
 
   In many factories when increased production is required, instead of using a continuous manufacturing process an automated batch system is installed. In batch process, the times of cooking and cooling are usually longer than in continuous process.

In-line process control continuously recording instruments are used. These feed signals to controllers, which in turn, operate valves adjusting stem pressure, there by quickly correcting any defect appearing in the end product. In batch production boiling temperature, density, viscosity, refractive index, pH, color or even the thickness or width of the slab are measured manually, usually on a proportion of the batches only.

Finished product Inspection:
Finished product is necessary to cross check the previous operations. The problem is to decide the minimum level of inspection.

Following are the most important checks are to be made for finished product.

1)Is the product and the packing is good or appearance is satisfactory?
2) Is the taste correct?
3) Is the weight within the agreed-upon tolerance?  

Shelf Life- Keeping limits and keeping tests:

Manufacturing of a product also involves in determine the keeping limits and keeping tests. The product should be labeled with the statement of “Best before “DT/MM/YYYY” and should mention which the product should stored in which temperatures and humidity’s. 

Micro Biological Quality control:
Microbiological quality control has to prevent

1) Food-borne disease organisms from being present in the product and to prevent

2) Microbial spoilage.

  These may be arising from purchased raw materials, from microbial growth during processing or through unsatisfactory handling or storage of the finished product.
It should also be recognized that if the finial product is contaminated microbiologically, it may be quite satisfactory in taste and appearance.

The responsibility of microbiologists is first of all to see that the raw materials entering the factory are free from pathogenic organisms.

Food Poisoning:
In the chocolate and confectionery factory, the product being handled is generally of low moisture content, which is not conductive to bacterial growth. In the confectionery factory, there are intermediate products and ingredients that may contain food-poisoning organisms such as milk products, egg albumen, gelatin, nuts and some dried fruits.  These are usually made into solutions before incorporation in a confectionery mix and these are often allowed to stand in warm places where microorganisms will multiply profusely. These solutions are generally added to a batch at a temperature high enough to destroy organisms but in the mean time the factory persons having bacteria in their hands are used, without proper cleaning, for bulk finished products before transferring to shaping and cutting machinery. This may cause illness as a result of customer’s rapid development in the digestive system.
Factory Hygiene and Sanitation:

In any food industry the maintenance of food hygiene is related to several factors
1) Persons
2) Ingredients
3) Equipment and Premises
4) Control of insects and rodents.

The responsibility for personal hygiene rests primarily with the medical dept. Following medical examination, which approves a person for work with food, an intensive training in personal hygiene should be given.

Food ingredients should never be handled with bare hands. But this rule is not implemented in a confectionary factory.
Tidiness should be maintained din the factory. Equipment should be washed regularly with hot water and stem jets. Damaged equipment must be taken out of service. A separate dept should be maintained for the cleaning and sterilizing of large equipments, bunkers, and trolleys.

Pest control should be maintained in the factory premises.

Very high standard of cleanliness should be maintained for the storing of raw materials and finished goods.

Prevention of Foreign Matter in Contamination:
The prevention of all foreign matter of all types such as found of screw, piece of metal, or glass in a product, Human hair or a housefly or rodent excreta is closely linked with Good hygiene.

The quality control chemist must approve the material must be checked for rodent contamination and the presence of insect fragments. Solution or sieving tests will reveal any foreign matter. Raw materials received in sacks, wooden cases or paper-lined cartons may easily become contaminated during opening. Q.C inspectors must see that packages are dealt with correctly and always away from production.

And electronic sorting must be done for nuts and beans and works on the basis of rejection of any unit that is the incorrect color. Electromagnets are very necessary to extract metal such as bolts, screws, and metal implements from raw materials or partly processed products in the finished product.

When processing involves dissolving a raw material to a liquid as with chocolate vibratory and pipeline sieves is a valuable method. These are final safe guard against stray pieces of metal or nuts and bolts that may detach the working of the machine.

What ever the precautions are taken in the production processes, some foreign matter will get through the finished product, and the additional means such as Electronic metal detectors, X-ray detectors detect this and eliminate.

Other causes of foreign matter are personal belongings such as pins, hair clips and buttons, stationery, and small ancillary equipment can be quite a serious factor for this personal care and strict supervision will prevent this causes.  

Travel tests must be taken after the manufacturing of the finished product and while transportation of the goods. To test cartons a laboratory hydraulic press fitted with flat platforms is used.

 

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