Quality Control Practices in Food Processing
QUALITY CONTROL PRACTICES IN FOOD PROCESSING: INDIA & INTERNATIONAL TRENDS
The Quality control of food has a significant role in assuming a high quality, safe and nutritious food
supply for the public, for their good health and for the economic benefits derived from trade of safe
and high quality food.
Quality control is applicable throughout the entire food system. The three basic characteristics of a
food quality control infrastructure include-
· Food Law and accompanying regulations:
o Quality control in food cannot operate without adequate food law
o The law should define the role and responsibility of the private sector and other institutions such as
industry, academic institutes, scientific committees and consumers in relation to food quality and
· A Food Inspectorate, Analytical Services, and Compliance Unit.
o Role of the inspectorate is to inspect food manufacturing, processing and handling facilities,
o The inspectors should be trained in the latest investigative techniques and fully educated in the
latest food safety and Q.A methods.
o The laboratory function is critical to Q.C in food.
o Use of latest analytical instruments and sophisticated methods of analysis.
o A compliance unit ensures that the recommendations for legal action are appropriately supported
by sufficient and supportable evidence.
o It would be responsible for those actions that are considered regulatory in nature such as court
· Supporting services i.e. education, information, training and advisory support, industry,
o Science and Technology services provide backup in research planning and support or for review of
the latest technologies in food control or food processing.
o Food Industry shares responsibility with the governmental agencies in achieving quality control
strategies such as Good Agricultural Practices (primary production) and Good Manufacturing
Practices (secondary production).
o Consumer organizations can play an important role in representing the consumer in the
development of a Q.C strategy and bringing the concerns of consumers to the attention of the policy
makers and the industry.
The main reason for having quality control is to ensure that the products are made as per the
standards demanded by the management. It ensures that raw materials meet set standards;
processing methods perform as designed; finished products meet company standards and
consumer confidence in the company remains high.
Key aspects of a quality control program are:
Physical and Chemical evaluation of raw materials and processed products
In- process control of
Raw materials, ingredients and packaging supplies
Microbiological analysis and control of raw materials and finished products. Control of storage and
handling conditions. Sanitation and Waste product control. Assurance that final products are within
the legal and marketing standards established.
We often confuse „Quality Assurance(Q.A)‟ with „Quality Control(Q.C)‟.Quality control focuses on
the product, while quality assurance focuses on the process. Quality control includes evaluating an
activity, a product, process, or service while quality assurance aims to ensure processes are
sufficient to meet clearly defined objectives. Further on, Quality assurance ensures a product or
service is created, implemented, or produced correctly, whereas quality control determines if the end
product results are satisfactory or not.
Quality control in a typical food processing system begins right from the stage of production
of food and runs till the stage of its sale and distribution. Some of the common quality
control measures at each stage of a processed food are highlighted below:
Control on the use of pesticides, veterinary drugs, and fertilizers.
Quality control at the time of harvesting.
Post harvest handling particularly during storage (temperature, humidity and time control)
Use of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)
Application of Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP)approach to achieve
optimum results with regard to the quality and safety of the product.
The application of ISO 9000 series of standards to establish Q.C regimes.
DISTRIBUTION AND SALE
The ambient conditions under which food is stored or transported. For ex. Time,
Application of „first-in, first-out‟ principle to see that food is not held beyond its shelf life.
Protection against insects, rodents, and extraneous matter.
Preparation of food particularly street foods under hygienic conditions.
QUALITY CONTROL: INTERNATIONAL SCENARIO
Developed countries have structured food safety regulatory systems that are
increasingly comprehensive and more stringent. They are adopting a mix of regulatory
approaches depending on the problem addressed, includingprocess standards such as HACCP,
performance standards for testing final products and even increasing labeling standards to
communicate about food safety to consumers.
Given below are some of the Quality Control Structures Of few Developed countries:
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA, 1997) brings all federal food inspection and
enforcement programs, plant protection and animal health together.
Health Canada establishes policies and sets the standards relating to the safety and nutritional
quality of food sold in Canada.
Food Safety Agency (1997) is a part of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and
Fisheries established by merging the National Food Agency and the Veterinary Service. The aim is
to create a single authority responsible for all the inspection and control of food “from stable
With a federal state, responsibility for food quality control is divided between the Federal
government and the Government of the 16 Federal States. A working group has been set up with
the aim of developing a single agency to take over all responsibility for food control.
Decentralized food safety system placed under the supervision of three federal offices working
closely together: The Federal Offices of Public Health, Agriculture, and veterinary issue food
regulations. At regional level,Cantonal Veterinary offices and cantonal laboratories are
responsible for food law enforcement activities.
THE UNITED KINGDOM
Agency set up by the parliament is a non-ministerial governmental department led by an
independent board. The agency accounts to Parliament through health ministries. All food law
enforcement, with the exception of meat inspection and hygiene and hygiene, is with local
QUALITY CONTROL: INDIAN SCENARIO
· Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is responsible for ensuring quality in food to the
consumers. A legislation called ‘Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954‟ exists to ensure pure
and wholesome food to the consumers and also to prevent fraud or deception. The Foods Safety
and Standards Act, 2006consolidates eight laws governing the food sector as well as establishes
Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSA) to regulate the sector.
CENTRAL FOOD LABORATORIES(CFLs)
Food Research and standardization Laboratory, Ghaziabad.
Central Food Laboratory, Calcutta
Central Food Laboratory, Pune
Central Food Laboratory, Mysore
STATE FOOD LABORATORIES
72 Food laboratories under the administrative control of State/U.T governments and local bodies.
QUALITY CONTROL CELLS(QCCs)
Three QCCs situated at New Delhi, Kolkatta and Hyderabad are monitoring the quality of foodgrains
being procured by FCI and state agencies for central pool.
COMPULSORY LEGISLATION FOR QUALITY STANDARDS
Standards on weights and measures (packaged commodities) Rules, 1977 Ministry of Food &
Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (Ministry of Health & Family Welfare)
Essential Commodities Act, 1954:-
Fruits Products Order, 1955 (Ministry of Food Processing Industries)
Solvent Extracted Oils, De-oiled meal & edible Flour Control order,1967 and Vegetable
products control order,1976 ( Ministry of Food & Civil Supplies).
Meat Products Order,1973 ( Directorate of Marketing & Inspection)
Milk & Milk products Order, 1992 ( Dept. of Animal Husbandry)
Directorate of Marketing & Inspection (DMI)-AGMARK
Export (Quality Control and Inspection) Act, 1963.
FSSA consolidates the eight laws governing the above standards.
Bureau of Indian Standards-standardization of products
The Joint FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission set up in 1962 has the major
objectives of protecting health of consumers and ensuring fair practices in food trade.
An intergovernmental body engaged in preparing international food standards and other
relevant recommendations to promote quality and safety of food.
It is one of the most successful programmes of the specialized agencies of the UN, contributing
to the international harmonization in the important area of quality and safety of food.
The national Codex point in India is the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in the
Ministry of Health & Family welfare.
HACCP is an important QA system that emphasizes „prevention‟ in the avoidance of food safety
In developing countries, people spend almost 50% of their income on food. At the national
level, food and agriculture form a major sector of all most all-national economies in terms of
GDP, employment, and foreign exchange earnings. About $500 billion worth of food enters
international trade each year. It is thus apparent that assuring food quality and safety has become
a challenging task. As a measure of preparedness, developing countries may have to take up
capacity –building projects with objective of strengthening the food quality testing
infrastructures and capabilities.The experiences of the other countries clearly show that
while their food legislations are no less stringent in so far as their concern for protection of
public health and consumers interest are concerned, yet they are quite pragmatic and flexible
in their enforcement approach so as to ensure that food industry and trade are not subjected
to unnecessary harassments or frivolous prosecutions.
Raw food can change your life!
I live in Los Angeles, and it seems like everyone is doing some sort of fast or cleanse or special diet.
It seemed like a waste of time to me, until I saw the results. I thought I eat healthy. I'm vegetarian. I
like eating my broccoli. I drink fresh smoothies. I don't eat too many sweets. I thought it was just air
pollution or stress causing my sporadic bouts with the flu and my constant allergies. It didn't seem
like I needed a drastic change in diet.
My boyfriend decided to try The Raw Food Detox Diet book by Natalia Rose, but I wasn't so easlily
While he consumed fresh juice for breakfast every morning, I kept on having my usual frozen
organic waffle or toast with tea.
After 2 weeks, I noticed his eyes looked so much brighter and bluer and they had such a sparkle to
them, and his skin looked really creamy. His belly also completely disappeared.
I started feeling left behind, so I gave up my usual routine to join in the fun.
Natalia Rose recommends you drink a green juice every morning, which was the biggest hurdle for
me because I wanted something sweet and tasty in the morning!
It's a real challenge to break the regiment of breakfast, the morning ritual of tea and toast, orange
juice or coffee while preparing for the day. I don't wake up and think "vegetables," even though I
have been doing this for a few months. It definitely takes time to develop new habits; I just remind
myself of how good I ill feel all day if I take the time to do it. You can test yourself, after a few weeks
of juicing, go back to eating some waffles or a big hearty breakfast and you will feel like a ton of
bricks just hit your stomach and has nowhere to go!
Every morning I make my green juice from celery, lemon, kale, an apple, and parsley. I started
feeling the difference right away. The Juice doesn't taste bitter at all. The lemon and apple sweeten it
to taste like grape juice and the energy you get from it is incredible. I have juiced before, but drinking
it first thing in the morning really is where the real clearing out of toxins process happens! My
allergies disappeared, I stopped getting the flu all the time, my PMS is completely gone. If someone
told me about this I probably would have a hard time believing them–who knew food was this
Even though I recently lost my health insurance, It doesn't give me anxiety like it used to because I
feel so good. My digestion is improved and so is my sleeping schedule. I used to love to sleep in
every chance I could, but now when the sun rises I can't wait to start the day. That is the complete
opposite of the old me. I can't believe the changes in my appearance and my health in such a short
amount of time (its only been 4 months). I really didn't do this for weight loss, but the fat just fell off. I
have always walked every day for excercise and have never achieved muscle tone, and i'm finally
getting that. The only thing thats hard to get over is the cravings I had for the first few weeks for
pizza! But I found a solution which is to spread a sprouted grain tortilla with pureed tomato, garlic
,basil and cheddar-style hard goat cheese (heat it in a pan or toaster oven). This really helped my
Natalia Rose recommends not jumping into the raw diet 100% at first. You can have a cooked meal
for dinner. The reason for this is that when you first start eating raw juices for breakfast and raw
lunches you will release many toxins into the bloodstream that your body has to get rid of, the more
raw you eat the more the built up stores of toxins come out. You want to do this slowly to prevent
any discomfort, illness or skin outbreaks from too many toxins trying to get out at once.
I had this experience myself, feeling so good the first week, I just wanted to eat more and more raw
and I got the flu right away. it was just too much toxins for my body to release. After 3 days of rest
and juices I was back to health and have been great since! I don't have my chronic sinus problems,
the box of tissues by my bed is gone, the constant nose blowing commotion is no more.
One of the main reasons I like the Raw Food Detox Diet book is that she explains the concept of
"food combining." I had never heard of this before. I just thought you put food in, and then your body
took its nutrients and that was that. But now I know better! And I know why I felt so sluggish and
grumpy all the time. Basically if you eat the wrong food combinations, like fruit after protein the
protein takes hours to digests while the fruit only takes 30 minutes, so the fruit ferments (rots) in your
intestine causing gas and bloating! Natalia Rose calls this the "quick exit" strategy. You want the
food to digest and leave your stomach as quickly as possible. Eat grains and vegetables together
and protein and veggies together, never protein and grains (meat and potatoes a NO-no!) It will
make you lethargic and tired. You should eat from lightest to heaviest through the day for best
digestion. Start the day with green juice, move on to fruit or veggies and then your largest meal at
dinner. This sounds like the opposite of what people usually tell you, but it actually works. You will
experience less bloating, gas, stomach aches, and that tired feeling after meals will go away.
Reading the book is really important because this information is all so unfamiliar to most people, so
its worth investing in or at least checking it out from the library. I like that she's not as dogmatic as
other raw foodists. She takes you into the raw world gradually, which is the best way because it
seems so foreign at first. This seems cliche, but once you start to go raw it will change your life in so
many unexpected ways. Eating raw food just makes you more positive and when you feel better it
reflects back to every part of your life. Even if your friends think you are weird at first, they will see
the changes in you and want to jump on board the raw food train! It makes for interesting pot-lucks
and family get-togethers when you bring your raw food to the table, its like a door opens that noone
even knew was there.
You will also need a good juicer, I bought a cheap one at Target and it didn't do a very good job at
juicing greens or parsley. I took it back, and then got an Omega juicer extractor which I LOVE
because it's quiet, easy to clean, and it juices everything, leaving a dry pulp behind. (The vegetable
pulp shouldn't be wet because that means all the juice isn't being extracted properly.) When you use
a juicer every day you want it to be easy to clean and also not too loud or you will never want to
juice. I would definitley splurge on a good juicer. Most raw foodists tell you to buy a good blender like
a Vitamix, which will last a lifetime. However, they will set you back about 250-500 dollars. I don't
have that kind of money to spend, so I bought a $79 Cuisinart blender/food processer that works
great so far! I would like to invest in the $300 blender some day, but for now I'll just use my cheap
one. Also if you want to make all the really yummy raw food stuff (like snacks and desserts) you will
need a dehydrator. I would do the raw thing for a few months before investing in that though. The
best model is made by Excalibur. A really important inexpensive raw tool that I use every day is my
mini Cuisinart food processor for making all kinds of amazing raw sauces and salad dressings. A
good mandolin is also great for chopping veggies paper thin and into matchsticks. You won't believe
how delicious veggies taste when chopped thinly. They are so much more appealing that way and
you can load up bowls of matchstick veggies with pesto or marinara like its pasta! Matchstick jicama
and carrots with cilantro peanut sauce is delicious!
There are plenty of treats and good things to eat and drink being a raw foodie: red wine, dark
chocolate, lara bars, pecan date pies, raw lasagnas and raw ice cream.
Eating raw doesn't mean just salad all the time! I'm amazed at the variety of foods I never used to
eat before! I was missing so much before I started eating raw. My absolute favorite treat is sprouted
fruit and nut bread by Earth Seed and Nature's Path Manna breads, topped with raw sage honey are
an excellent cake and pastry substitute. Sprouted corn tortillas by Food For Life are incredible with
guacamole and arugula. Dagoba brand dark chocolate lavender blueberry bars are an excellent and
healthy treat. You will see how much cheaper and better you eat when you start cooking with raw
ingredients like young coconuts, dates, sundried tomatoes, nama shoyu sauce, lemons, cold
pressed extra virgin olive oil, kalamata olives, apple cider vinegar, almond butter, nuts, fresh fruits
and veggies! There are so many great raw food cookbooks out there, don't be intimidated by going
all raw right away. Start with a small change like green lemonade juice for breakfast and go from