The food industry greatly depends on the efficiency and consistency of its processes. A recipe for a product must be accurate and repeatable, not only for quality, but for safety. When a food producer turns to automation in order to achieve these results, then consistent product results are more likely – but only with the right equipment. And in many cases, consistency really means “technology.”
Technology has played a critical role in ensuring consistency over time. For example, weighing systems that are automated ensure that recipes are consistently replicated. Since most manufacturers process product in big batches, having an inconsistent recipe can mean quite a bit of waste if the ingredients are out of proportion. Precise measurements are a real money saver for a company, not only for cost of materials, but also in terms of creating a consistent brand image with the consumer. Using technology to ensure accuracy also means that it is easier to collect data regarding your processes – or taking advantage of the Internet of Things to gather data analytics for future use.
Consistent product results also has a direct impact on food safety. This is where technology design becomes so critical. For many processed foods that work with viscous solutions, the issue is more than just using stainless steel to reduce the chances of food contamination. Maintaining a clean environment that minimizes the buildup of food deposits or bacteria buildup is critical to avoid foodborne illnesses like listeria.
Technology can take the human error out of a recipe, leaving the mixing to a consistent computerized process. Proper mixers can also ensure that the recipe is replicated exactly every single batch. With fewer (or no) moving parts, sanitary measures are enforced so that salmonella or listeria is greatly reduced. In the decades ahead, technology will ensure consistency, so that our food products are safe as well as tasty.