Tetra Pak has extensive experience in working on food safety and has developed many capabilities in this area. From a broad range of cutting-edge processing and packaging technologies, to state-of-the-art food safety laboratories in Stuttgart, Germany, we continue to drive an agenda that is sharply focused on our vision: to make food safe and available everywhere.
In 1961 the first ever aseptic filling machine was launched. A technology that would revolutionise the food production industry, and establish Tetra Pak as a leading player in the on-going quest for technologies that would help safeguard food.
Half a century later we can look back on many more food safety milestones and innovations. And the technology that first set them apart, aseptic food production, continues to lie at the very core of our business, and remains the focus of much development and improvement.
“For example, we have developed an entire range of special aseptic components – as well as barriers of steam, nitrogen or sterile air – to ensure integrity, product quality and product safety,” says Yvonne Andreasson, Director Portfolio management Processing Solutions. “It is also important to guarantee safe service media such as water, air and steam by, among other measures, making sure that these systems are designed in cleanable way.”
Of course, every piece of processing and packaging equipment is designed with safety in mind, with all components and materials food contact certified. Indeed, in the case of highly sensitive products such as baby foods, production solutions are close to pharmaceutical standards, with barriers and controlled hygienic zones to guarantee process integrity.
Underpinning Tetra Pak’s food safety agenda is a small, world-class food science laboratory in Stuttgart, Germany.
“At these labs, exhaustive tests are performed on the many materials used in various types of packaging to ensure safe and suitable packages for the very broad range of foods they might be used for,” says Dr Gabi Pieper, Director, Food Packaging Safety and Interaction. The findings can help food producers avoid unsuitable combinations.
The lab also carries out extensive food testing, for example, as part of the analysis offered to Tetra Pak’s customers in the event of a food safety issue.
This goes beyond providing fast and reliable support. After the analysis, we makes suggestions and recommendations for modifications to the food producer’s quality control and quality assurance programmes. This advice, along with a competence development programme to improve staff awareness, helps minimise or eliminate the risk of future such issues.
To stay at the forefront of food safety development, the laboratories collaborate and exchange knowledge with leading universities, gaining insight into the very latest academic research. The labs also collaborate with various European and global health organizations and authorities, including the Food and Drug Administration in the USA. This is not merely to keep up with legislation, but to present findings from practical experience to the authorities, which can influence how that legislation is formulated and implemented.
“By staying on top of what’s happening today, we can help our customers meet the demands of tomorrow,” concludes Gabi Pieper