A COLLABORATIVE WHITE PAPER THAT OUTLINES HYGIENIC EQUIPMENT DESIGN FOR LOW-MOISTURE FOODS.

Minimising the risk of food contamination via the use of hygienic equipment design is a key goal for any food manufacturer. What is less clear is the best approach to designing equipment that delivers high standards of hygiene and efficiency.

Industry group the PMMI formed a group of professionals from consumer packaged goods (COGs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to look at these kind of issues and drive consensus. One result was a pioneering publication called, One Voice for Hygienic Equipment Design for Low-Moisture Foods. It uses existing industry standards, guidelines and information to define a process that reflects an industry consensus on design criteria for hygienic equipment for low-moisture food manufacturing.

This document remains as relevant as ever, especially since the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has increased the regulation of many factors that impact both design and operation of such equipment.

The white paper is presented in two parts:

Part One – the Joint Collaboration Process (JCP)
Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) food producers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) formed the JCP in order to present  a way to streamline the activities of developing basic design specifications and criteria to move the conversation from a ‘blank page’ situation to a ‘common criteria’ level. This section outlines four key steps:

  • Assess the Risk – this looks at the evaluation of biological, chemical, and physical hazards.
  • Determine the Hygienic Zones & Cleaning Methods – how the equipment is to be used and what hygienic zones level is required for sanitary operations.
  • Utilise the Tools – a decision tree to identify the hygienic design criteria.
  • Discussions Between CPG & OEM – the criteria to discuss and identify the required hygienic design specifications to reach an agreement on equipment design.

This section also looks at the reasons for forming a JCP, and how it can help, as well as graphic representations of the steps involved in the JCP approach.

Part Two – Design criteria for equipment used to manufacture low-moisture foods
This section is laid out in a table that details the hygienic equipment criteria and method of cleaning indicated for a low-moisture food product. The key areas include:

  • The criteria for high hygiene wet clean, high hygiene dry clean and basic hygiene dry clean.
  • The minimum food protection and sanitation criteria for the materials, design, fabrication, and construction of machinery used in the manufacture of low-moisture food.
  • Definitions of terms and concepts
  • Materials of construction
  • Design and construction
  • A series of illustrations that cover drainage of vessels, dead spaces, permanent joints, dismountable joints, controlled compression and thermal expansion of elastomers, design of fasteners, product lubricated bearings, frameworks, and accessibility of equipment.

There’s also a list of the project team members in the opX Leadership Network. The team is made up of 27 food manufacturers, equipment designers and industry networks, including PTL’s own Jim Halliday.

The aim of the white paper is to define a process, using industry standards, to reach a consensus of design criteria for hygienic equipment for low-moisture food manufacturing. It’s a comprehensive guide that goes into a lot of detail about achieving hygiene needs, as well as the reasons the JCP was formed.

Once you’ve read it, you’ll quite likely have some questions about it, and how it relates to your business. We’d be happy to help with anything you need clarification on, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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