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Traceability in the food and feed supply chain

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Traceability identifies the path from where a product originated to where it has been supplied, and consists as a series of interlinking chain of records either between process steps in an individual food (or feed) business operation and/or between different stages in a food supply chain.

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Traceability in the food and feed supply chain

  1. 1. Digital Re-print September | October 2013 Traceability in the food and feed supply chain Grain & Feed Milling Technology is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2013 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872
  2. 2. “ After a decade, we replaced our Tapco Heavy-Duty buckets with the Xtreme-Duty ones. If the new ones perform half as well as the originals, who knows how long they’ll last — maybe 20 years or more! ” Jamie Mattson Operations Manager JAMES VALLEY GRAIN, LLC Oakes, North Dakota, U.S.A. Jon Hansen Plant Operator JAMES VALLEY GRAIN, LLC. Why 10 Years is Just a Drop in the Bucket When it Comes to the Performance of Tapco Buckets calculated that the original Tapco buckets handled 169,297,881 bushels – and most of those buckets were the originals.” When James Valley Grain installed Tapco buckets in their new facility in 2001, nobody expected them to last this long. A lot of commodities of different density variations – like wheat, corn and soybeans – have run through the original 7.05-million-bushel terminal, which added extra wear on the STYLE CC-HD (HEAVY DUTY) buckets. Through the ® years, the volume of STYLE CC-XD (XTREME DUTY) material has gone way up, too. “Ten years is a long time for buckets to endure, especially running as hard as we do,” Mattson says. “Honestly, when we took them off, it was pretty incredible how well they wore. If the new ones perform half as well as the originals, who knows how long they’ll last – maybe 20 years or more!” “We went from five million bushels the first year to around 30 million the last four years,” Jamie Mattson, Operations Manager, James Valley Grain, says. “In fact, I just looked it up and Extend the longevity of your loadout legs with Tapco buckets. Find out why 75% of design engineers, contractors and bucket elevator manufacturers* trust Tapco to keep business moving. Anticipating even more volume, the plant recently decided to upgrade to Tapco CC-XD (Xtreme Duty) buckets – made with 35-50% more resin thoughout – not just at critical wear points. ELEVATOR BUCKETS - ELEVATOR BOLTS St. Louis, Missouri U.S.A. Tel.: +1 314 739 9191 • +1 800 AT TAPCO (+1 800 288 2726) • Fax: +1 314 739 5880 • *Grain Journal, Country Journal Publishing Co., Inc., Decatur, Illinois, U.S.A. The color blue, when used in connection with elevator buckets, is a U.S. registered trademark owned by Tapco Inc. © 2013 Tapco Inc.® All rights reserved.
  3. 3. FEATURE Traceability in the food and feed supply chain by Chris Knight, head of agriculture, Campden BRI, United Kingdom T raceability identifies the path from where a product originated to where it has been supplied, and consists as a series of interlinking chain of records either between process steps in an individual food (or feed) business operation and/or between different stages in a food supply chain. supply chain therefore relies on each food business operator establishing traceability, keeping associated records and being able to make traceability information available to whoever needs to know be this internally, customers or regulators. The focus therefore, is on individual food There are two categories of information relating to traceability: • External traceability, which relates to product information that a food business operator either receives from suppliers or provides to customers the so-called one step back/one step forward approach • Internal traceability, which relates to the processing history within an individual food business operation, i.e. the matching up of all inputs to outputs The requirements for traceability apply to any business that trades in food at all stages of the food chain. This includes for example primary producers, grain stores, merchants, processors, manufacturers, transporters, and retailers. The food chain therefore is a series of separate operations in sequence linked by their respective inputs and outputs, where the output from one operation becomes the input for the next stage in the chain. Each operator in the food chain records information which links the operations and provides chain traceability. Most food business operators cannot create traceability through the whole supply chain, but each has a role to play in collecting and storing information about the materials supplied to them, their production process and the products they supply to customers for the section of the food chain under their control. Traceability in the food Table 1: Stages in conducting a traceability study 18 | September - october 2013 business operators establishing internal and/ or external traceability for the section of the food chain or production operation under their control. For an individual food business this is typically from receipt of raw materials (the inputs) to dispatch of finished products (the outputs). By linking each Stage 1 Define the scope of the study The study terms of reference of the traceability system should be defined, including the product and process the study applies to and the product identity criteria that apply where applicable. Stage 2 Define authority and responsibility A traceability study will require the establishment, implementation and maintenance of the traceability system, and is best carried out by persons with appropriate authority and knowledge of the product and process. Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Describe the product A full description of the product(s) under study should be prepared, including defining key identity parameters which relate to traceability. Define the process Prior to the traceability study beginning it is necessary to carefully examine the process operations under study and produce a flow diagram around which the traceability analysis can be based. Conduct a traceability analysis Identify and list the traceability attributes; conduct a traceability analysis to determine where identity is read, recorded and applied. Perform test and review activities The traceability personnel should put into place procedures that can be used to ensure compliance with the stated traceability procedures and to determine the effectiveness in use Efficient and accurate record keeping is essential to the successful application of traceability. It is important for the food business Establish to be able to demonstrate that the traceability system has been documentation Stage 7 implemented and maintained, and that the system documentation and record and records have been established and kept in a way appropriate keeping to the nature and size of the business. The retention time should also be defined. From Campden BRI Guideline No 60 &feed millinG technoloGy Grain
  4. 4. FEATURE food business operation in the supply chain together through their respective inputs and outputs, traceability in the supply chain can be established. Key attributes of traceability Traceability can be said to have a number of roles or benefits for food businesses, their customers and regulatory authorities, includ- ing for example: • To identify and record the history of a product and locate it within the supply chain • To assist in targeted and accurate withdrawal or recall • To support claims about products and provide information to customers and consumers • To assist in process control and management, e.g. stock and waste control There is however no single definition or system of traceability; it depends on many factors including the nature of the product and production operation. Traceability systems may also have different objectives such as assuring food safety and quality, product identity and provision of information to the next stage in the supply chain. Although regulations (e.g. EU General Food Law, Regulation 178/2002), international standards (e.g. ISO 22000) and private voluntary standards (e.g. BRC Global Standard for Food Safety and the UK Feed Materials Assurance Scheme) require traceability, none is prescriptive in the way traceability is achieved. This is because many options are available. Nonetheless, traceability comprises of three basic elements: • Supplier traceability - Identify and trace what material is received and from which business (the one step back external traceability) • Process traceability - Identify and trace what product is made from what materials, when and how (internal traceability) • Customer traceability - Identify and trace what product is supplied and to which businesses (one step forward external traceability) One of these samples has optimum gluten quality. The GlutoPeak knows which. With its innovative analysis process, the Brabender® GlutoPeak determines the gluten quality of your milled cereal products – quickly, reliably and at any time. ■ ■ ■ ■ Flexible analysis of flour, wholemeal flour, coarse meal, vital gluten and baking mixtures Fast quality analysis in one to ten minutes Precise results from small samples Easy-to-use software for simple handling Brabender® technology optimises the quality of your raw materials and ensures your success. Brabender® GmbH & Co. KG · GlutoPeak_AZ_GFM_210x148_GB.indd 1 &feed millinG technoloGy Grain 19.09.2013 13:48:16 September - october 2013 | 19
  5. 5. FEATURE This is in turn linked to efficient record keeping. The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) for example, which benchmarks food standards against food safety criteria, specifies with respect to traceability that there should be both internal and external traceability and that a standard shall ensure: • Identification of outsourced product, ingredient, or service • Complete records of batches in process or final product and packaging throughout the production process • Record of purchaser and delivery destination for all products supplied ISO 22000:2005 includes a specific requirement for a traceability system. This covers the establishment and application of a traceability system that enables the identification of product lots and their relation to batches of raw materials, processing and delivery records. Specific reference is also made to identifying incoming raw materials from the immediate supplier and the initial distribution route of the end product, and record keeping. This is equivalent to establishing external and internal traceability plus associated record keeping. In general legal requirements focus on external traceability and do not require internal traceability. In European Union food law, for example, food business operators must be able to: • Identify from whom and to whom product has been supplied • Have systems and procedures in place that allow this information to be made 20 | September - october 2013 available to competent authorities upon their request Product identity The key to a successful traceability system is also about the assigning of unique identifiers to specific batches of raw materials, in process materials and finished product, and maintaining the integrity of the batch together with its information. Maintaining batches can be achieved in space or time, e.g. physical separation of materials in separate units or specific production run times. What constitutes a batch and how it is identified will depend on the nature of the product and production operation. In a grain store for example, a batch may be a grain storage bin or compartment in a flat store, whereas in a process operation a batch may be a production run date or time. Maintaining and identifying batches should also consider the type of unit operation. For example, whether batches are transferred, joined or split. Transfer is the simplest of operations, where product identification is transferred with the product through one or more steps in a process. That is where the traceability information is retained and the identification is transferred between the process steps. Joining is where one process step combines several traceability units; each with a unique identification code and a new identification code is established for the joined materials. Splitting, on the other hand, is where a traceability unit is split and used in the production of new traceability units, each with a new identity code, for example, in different processes, products, or customer destinations. In a grain handling operation for example, a number of individual identified deliveries may be mixed and joined in one storage bin. The storage bin is then the new identified material. As the grain in the storage bin is used it is split into separate individual units, each of which has a separate identifier based on the use. The important aspect is that there are clear records of the identity of the materials that are loaded into the bin (the inputs) and the materials that are unloaded from the bin (the outputs). In this way a traceability trail is established around the storage bin, albeit materials are joined and the mixed materials subsequently split. The actual identifying reference used will depend on the organisation and the traceability system used. In its simplest form a batch may be assigned a unique sequential number, date or identification reference (e.g. storage bin number). An alternative might &feed millinG technoloGy Grain
  6. 6. FEATURE be to encode further details using an alphanumeric substitution code. The principle of product coding is to ensure that the various sources of traceability information that are used in an operation are linked, so that the history of the product can be established. The traceability system How a traceability system is to be established, implemented and maintained by a food business depends very much on the nature of the product and the production operation. The traceability system will also need to take account of any regulatory and adopted international or private voluntary standard requirements. There are four basic components of a traceability system: • Organise and plan traceability • Implement traceability • Ensure effective operation of traceability • Document and record traceability When planning traceability it is helpful to conduct a traceability study. A typical study comprises seven stages (Table 1). These stages include essential planning stages (Stages 1 to 4), the implementation stage (Stage 5) and maintenance stages (Stages 6 and 7). In addition there are also a number of procedures that support. (and interrelate with) a traceability system and underpin the effective operation of traceability. Typically these form part of a quality management system and provide essential supporting activities to ensure the traceability system is fully effective. Examples include documentation and record keeping, internal audits, training, control of non-conforming product and purchasing procedures. These enable the traceability system to be focused on the mechanics of traceability, and help the effective implementation of traceability. The system of traceability adopted by a food or feed business operation and the level of traceability achieved will depend on the nature of the product and type of production operation. In a typical milling or feed operation, there will be a degree of joining and splitting of materials, and products may either be supplied in bulk or discrete units such as large bags or small sacks. In other types of food business, more direct traceability may be achievable and identify is transferable directly between process steps or operations. An animal, for example, can be identified individually and the feed materials consumed by the animal traced. That identity can be retained with the carcass after slaughter and cutting. It is therefore for the business to decide on the level of traceability achieved and identity applied to product units. This, however, needs to be clearly defined in the traceability system adopted. The planning stages establish the essential characteristics of the product and process relevant to traceability and organisational responsibility. This involves establishing the scope, responsibility for traceability, product details and the process operations. They enable the personnel involved with the traceability system to focus on the key issues and ensure the system is established, implemented and maintained effectively. The traceability analysis (Stage 5) depicts how and where traceability is established and the control points in the process. The analysis is systematically applied at each process step in sequence as defined in the flow diagram (Stage 4). In practice this involves establishing three traceability criteria at each process step: • What identification details (codes or identifiers) are read? • What information relevant to traceability is recorded? • What identifications (codes or identifiers) are transferred to the next step (new or retained)? The purpose is to identify the traceability information that is read relevant to the materials used and applied to the materials which are transferred to a subsequent step, together with the records taken. The latter may be a new identifier or one that is retained from the materials used. If, in the analysis, it is determined traceability is compromised in any way and it is deemed necessary to establish traceability then the procedures need to be modified to ensure GMP+ Feed Certification scheme Early warning Traceability Monitoring Process control Chain approach Prerequisites Product standards HACCP ISO At this moment, over 12,000 companies in the feed chain, located in over 65 countries worldwide, are GMP+ FSA certified. Tel: +31 70 3074120 &feed millinG technoloGy Grain September - october 2013 | 21
  7. 7. FEATURE an appropriate level of traceability is established. Performing test and review activities (Stage 6) is akin to verification of HACCP systems. The objective is to confirm that the traceability system is working effectively. The aim is to demonstrate conformance with stated procedures and that traceability is established effectively. For traceability systems there are two key questions: • Does traceability work in practice? That is, is there conformance with the traceability system as implemented and is working in practice? Typical examples are audits or other inspections of the systems, and testing the system in some way, e.g. a traceability test and mass balance check • Is the traceability system up to date? That is, has there been any change that affects traceability, e.g. with the product or process? This will involve a periodic review of the traceability system Grain storage traceability analysis An example traceability analysis is given in Table 2. This depicts a typical grain storage operation. The example is given for illustrative purposes only and demonstrates a generic approach to traceability in such an operation. The details such as identification read, records taken and identification applied are shown for indication only. However, the traceability analysis concept that is demonstrated can be applied to any product or production operation. External traceability in this example is established by the identification of Table 2: Traceability in a grain storage operation - Terms of reference Product Wheat Process The storage of harvested grain Start: Intake of grain from farms and merchants (suppliers) Finish: Dispatch of grain to customers Traceability criteria Grain is handled in bulk. Grain is identified by the bulk consignment reference (external traceability) or storage unit identity reference (internal traceability) Traceability analysis (each process step in the grain storage operation) Process step Identification read Recorded information Identification applied 1: Grain intake Receipt of grain from suppliers, including intake checks and tipping of grain at intake point Supplier’s lot, batch or consignment reference What was received (lot, batch or consignment reference), the quantity, who supplied it, and date received Supplier’s lot, batch or consignment reference is retained 2: Temporary holding Temporary storage of grain pre-drying (bin store) Supplier’s lot, batch or consignment reference What received grain is loaded into a temporary store is detailed on intake records Temporary store reference 3: Grain conditioning Cleaning and drying grain by heated-air (batch or continuous process) Temporary store reference What was dried, from what (temporary store references), how and when Drying batch or run reference 4: Long-term storage Storage of conditioned grain in cool and dry conditions (bin or flat store) Drying batch or run reference What dried grain is loaded into a long term store is recorded on the drying records Long term store reference 5: Dispatch Unloading of store, and loading of transport vehicle Long term store reference What product was supplied (long term store reference), to whom and when Each delivery of stored grain supplied is identified by a unique consignment reference 22 | September - october 2013 the materials received into the business (process step 1), which are also the grain supplied by another business (the one step back), and by the identification of the grain supplied to another business (process step 5), which is also the material received by another business (the one step forward). Internal traceability is established by the matching of inputs (step 1 intake) to the outputs (step 5 dispatch) through the steps in the process (temporary holding, drying and storage). In this example it is not possible to directly link the materials received to the materials supplied to the customer. This is because there has been joining or splitting of grain at various steps in the process. Different traceability units are joined and mixed in bulk storage units at steps 2 and 3. There is splitting where grain is drawn from the long-term grain store to make separate deliveries to customers. However, the records taken would clearly identify the identification references of all the components joined or split at the process steps. In this way internal traceability is established at each process step including steps where grain is bulked and split, albeit that direct traceability of individual batches received is lost. Direct traceability might theoretically be achieved if the grain received, depending on source or the type grain, is handled and stored separately. That is where product identification is transferred with the product through one or more steps in the process, and the identification is transferred between the process steps. However, in a typical grain storage operation this may not be a practical option due to the nature of the handling operation and bulk storage. Traceability in this example may be summarised as follows: • Suppliers: Information relating to from whom grain has been supplied is linked to intake records (one step back external traceability) • Process: Information relating to the matching of inputs to outputs is linked to storage and drying records (internal traceability) • Customers: Information relating to whom grain is supplied is linked to dispatch consignment records (one step forward external traceability) Further reading Traceability in the food and feed chain: General principles and basic system requirements. Campden BRI Guideline No 60 More inforMation: Tel: +44 1386 84201 Fax: +44 1386 842100 Email: Website: &feed millinG technoloGy Grain
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  9. 9. LINKS September - October 2013 This digital Re-print is part of the September | October 2013 edition of Grain & Feed Milling Technology magazine. Content from the magazine is available to view free-of-charge, both as a full online magazine on our website, and as an archive of individual features on the docstoc website. Please click here to view our other publications on first published in 1891 • The holistic approach to avoid losses in the feed mill In this issue: • • Sieving technology in feed pellet production • Mixed integer optimization: Traceability a new risk in maize production? • See the full issue • Visit the GFMT website • Contact the GFMT Team • Subscribe to GFMT a new step in formulation software • Weighbridges the workhorses of industrial weighing • High-precision sensors: the ideal solution for measuring grain humidity INCORPORATING PORTS, DISTRIBUTION AND FORMULATION A subscription magazine for the global flour & feed milling industries - first published in 1891 To purchase a paper copy of the magazine, or to subscribe to the paper edition please contact our Circulation and Subscriptions Manager on the link adove. INFORMATION FOR ADVERTISERS - CLICK HERE Article reprints All Grain & Feed Milling Tecchnology feature articles can be re-printed as a 4 or 8 page booklets (these have been used as point of sale materials, promotional materials for shows and exhibitions etc). If you are interested in getting this article re-printed please contact the GFMT team for more information on - Tel: +44 1242 267707 - Email: or visit