Quality Testing

Ingredients are tested for conformance to requirements. The increasing tendency is for suppliers to test and validate requirements by providing certified testing results with delivery of the ingredient. Primary testing of the oils is conducted at the plant. Significant attributes in routine testing include flavor, aroma, color, peroxide value, free fatty acids, moisture, refractive index or iodine value, and SFI, when applicable. Other ingredients are tested for microbiological quality as appropriate.

Manufacture processes are monitored by recording instruments, visual observation, and analysis of production efficiencies for conformance to requirements. Typical process temperatures are product specific, but general approximations are:

10 min

As mixed ex SSHE ex pinworker As packed postpack 105°F 53°F 56°F 58°F 64°F

Product quality includes nominal chemical characteristics of moisture %, salt %, curd/milk solids %, with fat % determined by difference. Other characteristics of product that are determined at time of production include pH of the aqueous phase, color, flavor, appearance, and net weight. Several package characteristics, including completeness of wrap, presence of lids, and legibility of code dating are checked also. Microbiological assays for standard plate count (SPC), yeasts, molds, and coliforms are determined routinely.

Typical limits are SPC 3,000/g, yeasts, molds, and coliforms negative by analysis. Periodic sampling for additional quality characteristics is also required, including vitamin A assay and selected pathogens. Quality begins with clearly stated product requirements and is built into the product via instructions for formulation and manufacture.

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