The Alliance for Innovation and Operational Excellence (AIOE), founded by PMMI in 2011, recently released a guidance document entitled One Voice for Hygienic Equipment Design for Low-Moisture Foods.
It establishes a framework, including risk assessment, to determine equipment design for wet- and dry-clean environments.
The equipment used for primary packaging is a potential area of pathogen growth in low-moisture food production environments, notes Stephen Perry, Ph.D., co-managing director, AIOE.
“Consumer goods companies (CPGs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are committed to machinery that is easy to clean, sanitize and return to operation with minimal downtime,” Perry says. “One Voice fosters discussion and data gathering that leads to informed purchase decisions.”
The central feature of the approach is its joint collaboration process (JCP), he says.
To reach a consensus on design criteria, JCP starts with a risk assessment to discern possible sources of biological, physical and chemical contamination, investigating hygienic zone information, and examining existing standards and checklists.
“The risk assessment process is proven to help arrive at decisions on multiple processes, and by integrating it with the rest of the data, we can arrive at ‘must-have’ criteria that we apply to several existing hygienic design guidelines,” says Fred Hayes, director, Technical Services, PMMI.
The CPG can still select a more rigorous OEM design, Perry notes.
However, the One Voice process lays out base level criteria, saving time and investment throughout purchase discussions and decisions.
“The process enables an operations team to explain the assessment that led to their design choices,” he adds.