US FOOD SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

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US FOOD SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

  1. 1. Technological developments Globally, which India can incorporate for advancements 1. New High-Volume Laser Sorter Key Technology introduced the new high-volume Optyx® 6000 Series Sorter with Raptor Laser Technology at Process Expo, the food processing show co-located with Pack Expo. Optyx 6000 Raptor can sort fresh, frozen and dried fruits and vegetables, including frozen potato products, tree nuts, raisins and other food products at production rates of up to 40,000 pounds (~18 metric tons) per hour, depending on the application. Optyx analyzes size and shape as well as millions of subtle color difference and removes defects based on user-defined accept/reject standards. Raptor Laser expands the sorter’s inspection capabilities by reliably detecting foreign matter based on differences in the structural properties of the product and any foreign material. Combining the industries most sophisticated color sorting with the highest resolution laser technology maximizes the removal of defects and foreign matter in the product stream while improving recovery rates. As the only Class I laser sorter in the food industry, Optyx with Raptor sets a new standard in both performance and worker safety. Featuring a doublewide platform that harnesses the horsepower of Key’s G6 engine, Optyx 6000 Raptor detects the smallest defects and foreign material to optimize product quality and maximize food safety at double the throughput. As the first wide-belt laser sorter to maintain the high resolution of the finest narrow-belt laser sorters, Optyx 6000 Raptor sets a new standard. The icon-based graphical user interface (GUI) is easy to learn and use, reducing operator training and simplifying operation. The user interface displays Raptor information, allowing the operator to see what the laser is “seeing.” This patented feature delivers more intuitive machine feedback to the operator, which allows for more accurate adjustment of accept/reject thresholds. Product settings can be stored and retrieved for fast product changeover. Key Technology, an ISO-9001 certified company, is a manufacturer of process automation systems, integrated electro-optical inspection and sorting systems, and processing systems. Email: product.info@key.net Website: www.key.net. India can benefit itself by introducing the technology at a wider base.
  2. 2. 2. Electron beam technology to disinfest fruit and vegetables for the export market by irradiation Titan Corporation in the USA, is the manufacturer of the electron beam equipment. The process uses a high-energy electron beam to irradiate the food; this is generated by high-voltage electricity and does not use radioactive material. The electron beam in this new plant is only used to kill insects, larvae and other pests in containers of fruit and vegetables. The technology for this process is not unlike a commercial large-scale microwave oven with a conveyor belt running through it to carry containers. The process uses microwave linear accelerators, which are also known as radio frequency linacs. These accelerate electrons to 10MeV over the range of 1m. The electron beam is generated by alternating electric fields in the vacuum of the linac cavities, which consist of copper lined tubes. The electron beam pulse generated is focused using electromagnets and then passes through a 3mm titanium foil exit window before passing over the fruit and vegetables. India can also use Irradiation service for companies exporting fruit and vegetables over long distance to lengthen shelf life of the produce. US FOOD SAFETY REQUIREMENTS The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) approve the technology for disinfesting delicate fruit and vegetables. US food legislation requires irradiation of much of the imported produce as a phyto-sanitary measure against notifiable insect pests, which could infest US crops. The use of irradiation does save the use of pesticides (such as methyl bromide) on the same exported produce and so would appear to be more environmentally friendly. APHIS has suggested that in the future, fruit and vegetables imported to the USA should carry dosimeter indicators, which show if the produce has been irradiated, with what dose and where the irradiation was carried out. There is much controversy over food irradiation in the world forum. Some researchers think that irradiation of food reduces its nutritional value and can cause harmful compounds to be produced (2-alkyl cyclobutanone).
  3. 3. 3. Greenhouse Vegetable Research - the Leading Edge of New Technology The technology has introduced new innovations as involved developing virus and leaf mold resistance in tomatoes, pollination by bumblebees, deleafing, cluster pruning, increased stem density during summer months, etc. greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers and Coloured sweet peppers and eggplant, peppers. The seedless type of cucumber had totally displaced the seeded variety in Ontario greenhouses. The current farm-gate value of European seedless cucumbers in Ontario is over $100 million, which is a substantial return on investment. Hydroponic research included studies on nutrition, water management, and evaluation of various kinds of media, such as perlite, pumice stone, baked clay pellets, and coco coir. In N. America growing in rockwool on a commercial scale is being practiced. Email: ag.info@omafra.gov.on.ca The Greenhouse and Processing Crops Research Centre (GPCRC), located at Harrow, Ontario, develops and transfers new technologies for production of greenhouse vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers), field-grown processing vegetables, soybeans, and edible beans. Greenhouse vegetables The mission of the greenhouse vegetable team is to develop new technology for crop management, crop protection, and greenhouse environmental control. The goal is to improve greenhouse vegetable production efficiency and marketability, in a sustainable, environmentally safe production system. Processing Crops Bean and field vegetable research emphasizes insect, disease, and weed management, cultivator evaluation and development of integrated production systems to optimize yield and quality while minimizing environmental impact. High yielding soybean and dry bean cultivars are developed with special quality traits for food processing with the intention of increasing Canadian exports to Europe and the Pacific Rim. Soil, Crop and Water Management The soil, crop and water management research of the integrated crop production systems team focuses on agricultural practices that both enhance field crop production and maintain soil and environmental quality. Conservation tillage, water table management, crop rotation, weed and herbicide management, cover crops and soil amendments including compost and other bio solids are being investigated as means to reduce nitrate and pesticide leaching losses, improve soil structure,
  4. 4. increase organic matter content, enhance soil hydraulic properties, and increase overall profitability of field crop production. Canadian Clonal Genebank The Clonal Genebank preserves the genetic diversity of Canadian fruit/Vegetables crops by acquiring, evaluating and maintaining wild germ plasm and named cultivars. This will ensure the ongoing availability of a reservoir of valuable genes for use in plant breeding. Investment in Research Through the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Matching Investment Initiative (MII), producers' associations and private companies can invest in research projects at the Research Centre. Investment in research pays dividends by providing new technologies for improved production of greenhouse vegetables, field vegetables, soybeans and edible beans. Additional information on MII is available from the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (http://res2.agr.ca/research-recherche/industry/ mii/match.html) 4. Genetic Engineering Most genetically engineered fruits and vegetables have not received final approval for marketing from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at this time. It can rightly be called the Vegetable Revolution. There is stiff competition among US companies to bring genetically engineered fruits and vegetables to market. Government official estimates that there are almost 300 projects under way to develop genetically engineered plants. These include the following and many others: Tomatoes Several companies are working on tomatoes that can be vine-ripened and shipped without bruising. Others are trying to improve tomatoes that are processed for catsup, soups, pastes, or sauces by genetically engineering them to contain more solids, be thicker, and to contain more lycopene, which provides the red color. One company has set research priorities for processing tomatoes with improved viscosity (thickness and texture, meaning fewer tomatoes for the same amount of catsup), higher soluble solids, better taste, improved color, and higher vitamin content. Its objectives for fresh market tomatoes include enhancing overall flavor, sweetness, color, and health attributes. Potatoes Genetic engineering is being used to develop potatoes with more starch and less water to prevent damage when they are mechanically harvested.
  5. 5. A potato with less water content may absorb less oil when it is fried, producing healthier french fries or potato chips. Other researchers are using genes from chicken embryos and insect immune systems to try to make potatoes more disease resistant. Corn Some companies are trying to transfer a gene into sweet corn to prevent sugars from turning to starch. The new corn would stay sweet longer after it is picked. Squash and Cantaloupe One seed company is developing squash and cantaloupe varieties that resist viruses. A piece of a gene from the virus is transferred into the plant where it acts like a vaccine to protect the plants. Another company is working to improve the flavor and sweetness in melons produced for the winter markets. Its researchers believe the same technology can be applied to peaches produced during the main crop season (Eckles). The Science of Flavr Savr Pectin, used to make jelly thicken or gel, occurs naturally in many fruits, giving them their firmness. The pectin in ripening tomatoes is degraded by an enzyme called poly galacturonase (PG). As the pectin is destroyed, the cell walls of tomatoes break down and they soften, making them difficult, if not impossible, to ship successfully. Reducing the amount of PG in tomatoes slows cell wall breakdown and produces a firmer fruit for a longer time. Scientists isolated the PG gene in tomato plants. The next step was to convert the tomato PG gene into a reverse image of itself called an antisense orientation. The scientists called this "reversed" tomato gene the Flavr Savr gene and reintroduced it into the plants. In order to tell if the Flavr Savr gene was successfully reintroduced into the plants, scientists attached a gene that makes a naturally occurring protein that renders plants resistant to the antibiotic kanamycin. By exposing the plants to the antibiotic, scientists could tell which plants had accepted the Flavr Savr gene. The ones unaffected by kanamycin grow to have the desired traits of the Flavr Savr. Once in a tomato plant, the Flavr Savr gene attaches itself to the PG gene. With the Flavr Savr gene adhering to it, the PG gene cannot give the necessary signals to produce the polygalacturonase enzyme that destroys pectin.. If approved by the FDA, those plants with the Flavr Savr TM gene will be grown for commercial tomato production. The seeds will be planted and
  6. 6. grown like any other fresh tomato plants, except the tomatoes can spend more days on the vine until they reach the desired flavor and texture before shipping. The FDA announced its findings that the Flavr Savr tomato is as safe as tomatoes bred by conventional means, so limited quantities of the new tomatoes grown from Flavr Savr seeds under the MacGregor's " brand in selected midwestern and California markets were introduced. Virus Resistant Squash Asgrow Seed Company, the agricultural division of The Upjohn Company of Kalamazoo, Michigan, became the second company to ask the USDA to rule on the status of a genetically engineered crop, the ZW-20 virus- resistant squash. This yellow crookneck squash has been modified to resist watermelon mosaic virus-2 (WMV-2) and zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV). The ZW-20 Solution Asgrow has developed a yellow crookneck squash that can resist both WMV-2 and ZYMV viruses. This approach bypasses aphid control methods (Current methods of controlling the viruses focus on controlling aphids through repeated spraying of insecticides or oils. These preventive measures have failed to effectively control aphids that spread the viruses) to focus on the viruses themselves. The number of aphids in a squash field is less important if the squash cannot be infected by the disease they transmit. The Science Behind ZW-20 Asgrow scientists used a method of gene transfer called Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation to produce the new squash. robacterium tumefaciens is a bacteria that can be used to transfer genes into the chromosomes of plant cells. The genes that produce the coat protein of the two viruses WMV-2 and ZYMV were introduced into the bacteria. Two DNA molecules called plasmids that were located within the bacteria transferred the two virus genes into squash plant cells. Once inside the squash plant cells, scientists hoped the virus genes would become part of the squash plant's DNA, "vaccinating" it against the viruses. To be sure, Asgrow scientists attached marker genes for the antibiotic neomycin phospho transferase to the virus genes before they were introduced into the bacteria. Plant cells containing the marker gene with the attached virus genes could grow more rapidly in the presence of the antibiotic than those that did not.
  7. 7. Scientists selected the plant cells that they knew had the virus genes and grew them into plants. With subsequent selections, researchers were able to separate the marker genes from the resistance genes, so the ZW-20 line contains no marker genes for antibiotic resistance. So India should move into this line and be a part of such researches and look for improvement in production & development of resistance in plants for new diseases. 5. Adopting from Technologically advanced countries as Israel Key Research Interests with Results • Prolonging storage and increasing quality of potato, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip and onion. • Alternative methods to inhibit sprouting of stored potatoes. • Steam treatment to control pathogens of carrot, potato seeds and sweet potato. • Using hydrogen peroxide plus (HPP) to control pathogens inside storage rooms. • Studying the defense mechanisms of celery, parsley and citrus during storage. • Function and regulation of nucleases and ribo-nucleases associated with plant senescence and programmed cell death. • Study of the molecular genetic regulation of dark-induced senescence and the mode of action of CO2 in delaying artificial senescence in leafy vegetables. • Investigating the biological basis for chilling injury sensitivity/resistance in leafy vegetables. • Post harvest physiology and phyto pathology of fresh herbs and leafy vegetables. • Leaf abscission and senescence. • Molecular regulation of ethylene biosynthesis and action. • Controlled atmosphere storage. • Molecular mechanism of the circadian regulation of post harvest physiology. • Postponement of flowering in leafy vegetables. • Leaf senescence • Ethylene biosynthesis and action • Chilling injury • Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) • Minimally processed produce Major efforts are being done by Dept. of Postharvest Science of Fresh Produce, Agricultural Research Organization of Israel, The Volcani Center, P.O.Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
  8. 8. 6. Protective Edible Film Technology Agricultural Research Service, Pacific West Area, Western Regional Research Center (WRRC) -USA To increase consumption, food processors would like to market pre sliced fruits and vegetables; however, most rapidly loses their color, taste, and texture if sliced ahead of time. The team at the WRRC has derived a solution to this problem. Edible film technology involves the development of a powder comprised of totally edible ingredients. When the powder is mixed with water, fruit and vegetable slices can be dipped into it, and it forms a protective barrier. When treated with this product, fruits and Vegetable slices stay firm, light-colored, and tasty for up to three weeks while refrigerated. To transfer this technology, the WRRC team signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Mantrose- Bradshaw-Zinsser Group (MBZ) of Massachusetts to commercialize the edible film product. The edible film technology represents important benefits for U.S. agriculture and consumers. Coating fruit and vegetable slices increases the markets for produce. The coating process is simple and economical, and since it uses only components approved by the Food and Drug Administration it appeals to consumers. Another benefit may be the increased export of U.S. apples due to decreased insect infestation. Contact: apavlath@pw.usda.gov 7. Improving Quality Of Vegetables Through Agricultural Tramline And Cold Chain Systems- Philippine The short shelf life of fruits and vegetables and poor post-harvest handling practices negate the gains achieved in production. These are aggravated by the long distance between production areas and poor roads. Tramline and cold chain systems are logical solutions to these perennial problems. The Bureau of Postharvest Research and Extension- Philippine has been implementing the National Cold Chain and Tramline program to promote the adoption and utilization of cold chain and tramline systems. This is in line with the modernization of agriculture as a national thrust of Government under the Agriculture and Fishery Modernization Act (AFMA) 1997. To date, the program has established three cold chain facilities in three major vegetable producing areas in the country namely; Benguet (Northern Philippines), Cebu (Central Philippines) and Bukidnon (Southern Philippines.) These are being implemented in collaboration
  9. 9. with the private sector. The agency assists the private sector to set-up viable enterprises. It provides support to train the beneficiaries, it provides a cold chain technology databank and a market linkage program. The components of the cold chain include a packing house, pre-cooler, cold storage, refrigerated transport and refrigerated stalls and chillers. Tramline systems were also established in the highland areas where temperate vegetables are grown. Traditional systems were replaced with two types; mono-cable and bi-cable systems. The tramline is an alternate transport system in isolated areas providing a hauling facility using cables and pulleys. It minimizes the drudgery in manual hauling temperate vegetables to the roadside. The prospects of these systems continue to grow because of the technology transfer initiatives promoted by the government and other participatory methodologies. India can operate in collaboration to adopt the technology. 8. Automatic Identification Technology-Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) It is an identification technology whereby digital data encoded in an RFID tag or “smart label” is captured by a reader using radio waves. RFID is similar to bar code technology but uses radio waves to capture data from tags, rather than optically scanning the bar codes on a label. RFID does not require the tag or label to be seen to read its stored data—that's one of the key characteristics of an RFID system. RFID tags consist of an integrated circuit (IC) attached to an antenna— typically a small coil of wires—plus some protective packaging (like a plastic card) as determined by the application requirements. RFID tags can come in many forms and sizes. Some can be as small as a grain of rice. Data is stored in the IC and transmitted through the antenna to a reader. RFID tags are either “passive” (no battery) or “active” (self- powered by a battery). Tags also can be read-only (stored data can be read but not changed), read/write (stored data can be altered or rewritten), or a combination, in which some data is permanently stored while other memory is left accessible for later encoding and updates. The reader, using an attached antenna, captures data from tags, then passes the data to a computer for processing. As with tags, readers come in a wide range of sizes and offer different features. Readers can be affixed in a stationary position (for example, beside a conveyor belt in a factory or dock doors in a warehouse), portable (integrated into a mobile computer that also might be used for scanning bar codes), or even embedded in electronic equipment such as print-on-demand label printers.
  10. 10. Information is sent to and read from RFID tags by a reader using radio waves. In passive systems, which are the most common, an RFID reader transmits an energy field that “wakes up” the tag and provides the power for the tag to respond to the reader. In active systems, a battery in the tag is used to boost the effective operating range of the tag and to support additional features over passive tags, such as temperature sensing. Data collected from tags is then passed through communication interfaces (cable or wireless) to host computer systems in the same manner that data scanned from bar code labels is captured and passed to computer systems for interpretation, storage, and action. Advantages: Passive smart label RFID systems offer unique capabilities as an automatic data capture system in that they: Provide real-time, wireless transmission of data without human intervention; Do not require line-of-site scanners for operation; Allow stored data to be altered during sorting or allow workflow process information to be captured with the data; and Work effectively even in harsh environments with excessive dirt, dust, moisture, and extreme temperatures Conceptually, bar coding and RFID are quite similar; both are intended to provide rapid and reliable item identification-and-tracking capabilities. The primary difference between the two technologies is that bar coding scans a printed label with optical laser or imaging technology, while RFID scans, or interrogates, a tag using radio frequency signals. Because of the low cost of bar code labels, established standards, and global deployment, bar coding is a widely accepted, mature technology, while, in the past, RFID had been limited to niche applications. Furthermore, just as there are different bar code symbologies in use today, there are different RFID standards for RF communications protocols. Bar codes and RFID technologies are NOT mutually exclusive, nor will one replace the other. They are both enabling technologies with different physical attributes. Bar codes utilize one-way, serialized, and periodic data. RFID utilizes two-way, parallel, and real-time data RFID is of high interest to the perishable goods industry because there are such tight deadlines in which to get goods to shelves in the retail operation. Some food products can spoil in as little as seven days. RFID tags can be used to track food products through the supply chain and gather data that can reveal how long it took products to move from one point to another. Ambient data, such as temperature or humidity, can also be captured to indicate how much shelf life is left for given products. Some in the industry are hoping to use this data to calculate when to replenish perishables and how much product to put on shelves. The benefits of applying RFID to perishable goods include improved food safety, more efficient product recalls, reduced costs due to less spoilage, lower inventories, more efficient logistics, and improved customer service
  11. 11. Fruit and vegetable processing Fresh vegetable storage:  The vegetables can be stored, in some specific natural conditions, in fresh state, that is without significant modifications of their initial organoleptic properties.  In order to assure preservation in long term storage, it is necessary to reduce respiration and transpiration intensity to a minimum possible; this can be achieved by: 1. Maintenance of as low a temperature as possible (down to 0° C) 2. Air relative humidity increased up to 85-95 % and 3. CO2 percentage in air related to the vegetable species.  Vegetables for storage must conform to following conditions: 1. They must be of one of the autumn or winter type variety; 2. Be at edible maturity without going past this stage; 3. Be harvested during dry days; 4. Be protected from rain, sun heat or wind; 5. Be in a sound state and clean from soil; 6. Be undamaged.  From the time of harvest and during all the period of their storage vegetables are subject to respiration and transpiration and this is on account of their reserve substances and water content. The more the intensity of these two natural processes are reduced, the longer sound storage time will be and the more losses will be reduced. Some optimal storage conditions for fresh Vegetables are: Vegetables Storage conditions Temperature, °C Relative humidity, % Potatoes +1…+3 85-90 Carrots 0 … +1 90-95 Onions 0 … +1 75-85 Leeks 0 … +0.5 85-90 Cabbage -1 … 0 90-97 Garlic 0 … +1 85-90 Beets 0 … +1 90-95 Vegetable drying/dehydration 1. Vegetable dehydration in tunnels 2. Vegetable dehydration in belt dryers
  12. 12. Technology for vegetable powder processing This technology has been developed in recent years with applications mainly for potatoes (flour, flakes, granulated), carrots (powder) and red tomatoes(powder). In order to obtain these finished products there are two processes: a) Drying of vegetables down to a final water content below 4% followed by grinding, sieving and packing of products; b) Vegetables are transformed by boiling and sieving into purées which are then dried on heated surfaces (under vacuum preferably) or by spraying in hot air. Industrial installations that can be used for these products and technological data are summarised below: • Dryers with plates under vacuum are equipped with plates heated with hot water. Stainless steel plates containing the purée to be dried are placed on them. Process conditions are at low residual pressure (about 10-20 mm Hg) and a product temperature of 50-70° C. This equipment is discontinuous but easy to operate. • Drum dryers have one or two drums heated with hot water or steam as heating elements. Feeding is continuous between the two drums which are rotating in reverse direction (about 2-6 rotations per minute) and the distance of which is adjustable and determines the thickness of layer to be dried. he product is dried and removed by mechanical means during rotation. • Drying installations by spraying in hot air; the product is introduced in equipment and sprayed by a special device in hot air. Drying is instantaneous (1/50 s) and therefore can be carried out at 130-15O° C. Packing and storage of dried and powdered vegetables Dried vegetables can suffer significant modifications that bring about their deterioration during storage. The main factor in maintaining the quality of dried products is to follow the maximum moisture contents permissible. The moisture content of dried vegetables is not constant because of their hygroscopicity and is always in equilibrium with relative humidity of air in storage rooms. Technical solutions for maintaining a low dehydrated products moisture are: a) storage in stores with air relative humidity below 78%; b) use packages that are water vapour proof. The most efficient packages are tin boxes or drums (mainly for long term storage periods); combined packages (boxes, bags, etc.) from complexes (carton with metallic sheets, plastic materials, etc.) mainly for small packages. One solution for some dried vegetables may be the use of waterproof plywood drums
  13. 13. c] Modern solutions are oriented not only to the maintaining product moisture during storage but also reducing this parameter by the use of desiccants (substances which absorb moisture) introduced in packages, hermetically closed. d] A desiccant in current use is calcium oxide. Granulated calcium oxide is introduced in small bags from a material which is permeable to water vapour but which does not permit the desiccant to escape into products. With desiccants, product moisture can be reduced to even below 4%, and this inhibits or reduces the biochemical and microbiological processes during storage. Another factor that can deteriorate dried/dehydrated vegetables is atmospheric oxygen through the oxidative phenomena that it produces. In order to eliminate the action of this agent some packing methods under vacuum or in inert gases (carbon dioxide or nitrogen) are in use, applied mainly for packing dried carrots in order to avoid beta-carotene oxidation in beta-ionone (foreign smell, discoloration, etc.). In order to avoid the action of oxygen it is also possible to add ascorbic acid as antioxidant (for example in carrot powder). Sun or artificial light action on dehydrated vegetables generally causes discoloration which can be avoided by using opaque packaging materials. Dehydrated vegetable compression (especially for roots) to form blocks with a weight of 50-600 g, is practiced sometimes; it has as advantages the reduction of evaporation surface and contact with atmospheric oxygen and volume reduction. Dehydrated vegetables are compressed at about 300 at. Compressed blocks are packaged in heat sealed plastic materials. Storage temperature has an important role because this reduces or inhibits the speed of all physico-chemical, biochemical and microbiological processes, and thus prolongs storage period. The storage temperature should be below 25° C (and preferably 15° C); lower temperatures (0-10° C) help maintain taste, colour and water rehydration ratio and also, to some extent, vitamin C. Moisture and shipping factors for some dehydrated vegetables Product Form/cut Moisture % Weight kg/m³ Bean (green) 20 nun cut 5 1.6 Bean (lima) 5 3.3 Beet 6 mm strips 5 1.6-1.9 Cabbage 6-12 mm shreds 4 0.7-0.9 Carrots 5-8 mm strips 5 3-5 Celery Cut 4 Garlic Cloves 4
  14. 14. Okra 6 mm slices 8 Onion Slices 4 0.4- 0.6 Pea (fresh) Whole 5 3.4 Pepper (hot) Ground 5 Pepper 5 mm strips 7 (sweet) Potato (Irish) 5-8 mm strips 6 2.9-3.2 Diced 5 3.3-3.6 Tomato 7-10 mm slices 35 Vegetable canning Canned vegetables can be classified as follows: 1. - canned products in salt brine; 2. - canned products in tomato concentrated juice; 3. - canned products in vegetable oil. Food & Fertilizer Technology Centre An International Information Centre for Farmers in the asia Pacific Region E-mail: fftc@agnet.org Address: 5F.14 Wenchow St., Taipei 10616 Taiwan R.O.C. Tel: (886 2) 2362 6239 Fax: (886 2) 2362 0478 Quarantine And Food Safety Maximum Residue Levels (MRLS) The maximum residue level is a basic concept in food safety, and in international regulations. It means the maximum permitted level of various kinds of chemical residues, especially pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. The concept of the MRL is applied to both human food and animal feed. All countries have their own MRLs. Nowadays there is an international set of standards as well. This is known as the Codex Alimentarius, or Codex for short. The Codex MRL levels were discussed at various FFTC seminars. It was pointed out that the international MRLs are based mainly on Western body size and patterns of food intake. Westerners tend to be larger than Asians, and have a different diet. One recommendation from the seminar was that a Subcommittee of Codex should be established. This would help ensure that MRLs of chemicals as a percentage of total food intake reflect Asian food consumption patterns, as well as Western ones. For example, Asians have a higher average vegetable consumption than Westerners. An MRL for a vegetable which is safe for Western people might be too low for Asian people who eat a lot of that vegetable.
  15. 15. International Regulations The safety of exported agricultural produce is a major issue in international trade. Most countries demand that the level of pesticides in imported food does not exceed their own national MRL. At first sight, this seems reasonable. However, it gives many problems to Asian countries, especially tropical ones. Pressure from pests is much higher in a tropical country than in a temperate one, where the cold season breaks the buildup of pest populations. This means that countries with a tropical climate tend to use higher levels of pesticides. Temperate countries can impose lower pesticide residue levels than is feasible for crops grown in the tropics. The effect may be to exclude Asian exports such as tropical fruit from these temperate countries. A related problem is the registration of pesticides. Some countries, including the United States, have a policy of zero tolerance for residues of pesticides which have not been registered for domestic use. In some cases, this banning may reflect a legitimate health concern. In other cases, the pesticide is not registered simply because the country does not need it. The country may not have the relevant pest, or it may not grow the relevant crop. Exporting countries facing such bans might find that they exclude their cheapest and most effective pesticides. Hybrid Seed Hybrid seed makes use of the well-known trait of "hybrid vigor". This is a very important genetic trait. Hybrids of rice and other crops can be expected to give a yield 20-25% higher than ordinary varieties. In China, about 15 million hectares of paddy fields are now planted in hybrid rice. So are a growing number of rice paddies in Vietnam, India and the Philippines. In the production of hybrid rice, a male sterile line is used. In conventional hybrid rice breeding, this generally involves a three-line system, using a sterile male line and two other lines. Recently a two- line system has been adopted in China. This uses a seed parent which is sterile in some environments, and fertile in others. A major drawback of hybrid seed is that farmers cannot save seed from their own crop to plant the following year. Instead, they must purchase seed every year. Current research is developing vegetative propagation of hybrid rice for resource poor farmers, such as ratoon crops. Hybrid seed is also labor intensive. To produce hybrid rice seed takes an extra 50 man-days per hectare. This is a disadvantage only in
  16. 16. countries with a labor shortage. It could be seen as a benefit in countries where jobs are scarce in rural areas. Nitrates In Vegetables Heavy applications of nitrogen fertilizer can cause nitrates to accumulate in vegetables. Vegetables are a high-value crop. Farmers tend to apply large amounts of fertilizers, especially nitrogen. This is a reasonable insurance against yield losses from nutrient deficiencies, especially if fertilizers are fairly cheap. However, applying too much nitrogen fertilizer may be bad for human health. Nitrates are nitrogen-oxygen chemical units which combine with various organic and inorganic compounds. Once taken into the body, nitrates may be converted into nitrites. Crops containing high levels of nitrates can be identified by laboratory tests. However, they appear normal to the eye. Nitrates in vegetables and fruit have no taste or smell. Nitrates occur naturally in fruit and vegetables, but only in small quantities. They can rise to high levels in intensively grown crops. Organic vegetables are no safer than conventional crops, in this respect. As far as nitrates are concerned, it makes no difference whether the nitrogen comes from compost or from chemical fertilizers. Organic vegetables sometimes receive more than thirty tons of compost a year, and may contain high levels of nitrate. There is a strong relationship between the amount of nitrogen applied to the crop, and the level of nitrates in the plant. Nitrate levels are also affected by the season, and even the time of the day. There is some evidence that nitrate levels in produce are very high in countries with a cold climate, where most vegetables are grown under structures. High levels of nitrate in food or drinking water are known to be dangerous to babies in the first three months of life. They cause the blood to carry less oxygen, and the infant may suffocate. Older children and adults are not affected in this way. However, the prolonged intake of high levels of nitrate is linked to gastric problems, due to the formation of nitrosamines. Such compounds have been found to cause cancer in animals. The same may be true of human beings. Of particular concern is the possible link between fruit and vegetables with a high nitrate content, and cancer of the gullet. A current study in Scotland is examining the possibility that human saliva may be converting nitrates into carcinogens, which come into force at the gastro-oesphageal juncti TIFAC, an autonomous organisation under Department of Science and Technology chaired by Dr. R. Chidambaram, (Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission & Secretary, Deptt of Atomic Energy) Currently DAE Homi Bhabha Chair Professor, Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Trombay, Mumbai, aims to keep a technology watch on global trends and formulating preferred technology options for India.
  17. 17. E-mail: technologivision@tifac.org.in Technology Vision 2020 Reports Among, the wide spectrum of technologies studied under its Technology Vision programme, Agro-Food Processing assumes importance due to its impact on national economy and role in sustainable development. The case study on Agro-Food Processing is presented in brief along with the summary of future technology directions and scenario in the following sections. Agro-Food Processing: Technology Vision 2020 TIFAC had identified Agro-Food Processing as an important technology area for a detailed study due to its wide spread impact on Indian economy and high value-addition potential. In order to understand and assess the future technology directions and for shaping up a long-term technology vision for India, TIFAC constituted a Task Force for an in- depth analysis and fore- cast of future scenario for agro-food processing. Such an exercise was also aimed at formulating an action oriented technology and business plan so as to accelerate the growth of the specific industry sector in India. The Task Force, Chaired by the CEO of a leading food processing industry and co-Chaired by the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industry (Govt. of India), inducted area specialists from the industry, academia, R&D and the Government. The Task Force had detailed deliberations on various elements of agro-food processing sector in the country. In view of the volume and complexity of the task and considering the relative importance and impact, the following areas were identified for a detailed study: i) Milk ii) Cereals iii) Fruits iv) Vegetables While the study was conducted under the overall guidance of the Task Force, Expert Panels were created for each of the identified sector. Fruits & Vegetables : Technology Status & Future Vision The total production of fruits in the world is around 370 million MT. India ranks first in the world with an annual output of 32 million MT. While there are almost 180 families of fruits that are grown all over the world, citrus fruits constitute around 20% of world's total fruit production. The levels of processing in the major fruit producing countries in the world are, Brazil : 70%, USA: 60-70%, Malaysia : 83% and Israel : 50%. International trade in processed fruit products is around US $ 9200 million. India with its current production of around 32 million MT accounts for about 8% of the world's fruit production. The diverse agro climatic zones in the country make it possible to grow almost all varieties of fruits and vegetables in India. The TIFAC study has dealt in details the current status in post harvesting technologies including processing and packaging for export markets for eight major varieties of fruits in India.
  18. 18. These are mango, banana, citrus fruits, apple, guava, papaya, pineapple and grapes. India is the second largest producer of vegetables in the world (ranks next to China) and  accounts for 15% of the world's production of vegetables. The current production level is over 71 million MT and the total area under vegetable cultivation is around 6.2 million hectares, which is about 3% of the total area under cultivation in the country.  TIFAC study has focused on 12 select vegetables, which account for about 65% of the total production in India.  It is estimated that around 20-25% of the total vegetables is lost due to poor post harvesting practices.  Less than 2% of the total vegetables produced in the country is commercially processed as compared to 70% in Brazil and 65% in USA. Around 150,000 MT of vegetables is sold as processed products.  Export of processed vegetables has registered a compounded annual growth rate of 16% in volume and 25% in value in recent times.  Onions account for about 93% (in volume) of the total export of fresh vegetables from India.  The other major items of export are potato, tomato, brinjal, beans, carrots, chillies, capsicum etc.  The major export markets are Gulf countries, UK, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore.  Though India ranks second in the vegetable production in the world, the average yield for various vegetables are low compared to those experienced in other countries of the world.  Land ceiling has been a major deterrent for large scale cultivation of fruits and vegetables especially in the organised sector.  In case of vegetables, potato, tomato, onion, cabbage and cauliflower account for around 60% of the total vegetable production in the country.  Vegetables are typically grown in India in field conditions, the concept is opposed to the cultivation of vegetables in green houses as practices in the developed countries for high yields.  The vegetables sector also suffers from lack of availability of good quality planting material and low rise of hybrid seeds. Poor farm management and manual harvesting practices also apply to vegetables cultivation.  The expert opinion survey has inferred tile following trends in the future for fruits and vegetables sector. • Fruits and vegetables would continue to be harvested manually in the future.
  19. 19. • While small land holdings and non-availability of good quality planting material have been the major issues of concern, it is expected that quality of planting material would improve in the long run due to selection, hybridisation, breeding and tissue culture. • For poor farm management practices, there exists strong need for extension education and training for the growers. • Cooperative and contract farming may solve the problems for small land holdings towards improved yield and quality in the long run. • Application of fungicides/pesticides and chemical preservatives would be phased out and would be replaced by more environment friendly technologies in the long run. • While pre-cooling (cold chain) and surface coating are expected to dominate in the short run, CAIMA packaging and irradiation technologies are expected to emerge in the long run for preservation and extension of shelf life. • While marketing of fruits and vegetables is expected to be dominated by cooperatives and middle men in short term, organised direct sourcing supermarkets are likely to emerge in the long term. • Frozen and dehydrated products, fruit juices, pickles and other forms of preserves are likely to emerge as popular processed products. • Change in consumer taste, food habits &, life style, convenience, nutritional value and purchasing power are the likely reasons for preference of processed products. • While the level of processing would hover around 5- 1 0% in the next 10 years, 15-20% of fruits and vegetables may he processed in the long term. • The share of sectoral consumption for processed fruits and vegetables in the long term would be as follows: Domestic - 30% Institutions - 40% (including defence) Exports - 30% • While the small scale processing units would dominate in the short term, an advent of large/medium scale units is likely in the long term. The summary of future technology and business scenario for the fruits and vegetables sector is presented in the Table MEDIUM ASPECT SHORT TERM LONG TERM TERM
  20. 20. Essentially manual Will continue as land holdings are to be manual likely to remain small Semi-mechanized Increased use Limited use of Mechanization means for bulk crops of farm tools, mechanized harvesters in Harvesting like potato & onion implements & for potato & onion to be tractors cultivated on large farms Use of hand tools for fruits Selective use of pre- Increased use Extensive use of mobile cooling for high of pre-cooling pre-cooling value crops like techniques Strawberry/Grapes like Mobile Pre- cooling Ventilated Pre-cooling Post Harvest Evaporative Treatments Cooling Use of irradiation not Use of broad Limited use of likely spectrum irradiation for potato, chemicals to onion & spices continue Use of broad spectrum chemicals to be curtailed No significant 5-10% of fresh 20-25% of fresh change from produce to be produce to be currently followed chanelized channelized through practices in storage through cold cold chain at field level chain Less than 5% of Storage produce would be channelized through cold chain Use of CA/MA Very Limited Extensive use of storage only for high use of CA/MA CA/MA Storage value perishable Storage produce Mainly by trucks and Increased use Reefer trucks and CA/ Transportation by cart load of Reefer MA containers for trucks transport
  21. 21. Traditional Traditional Traditional methods to packaging methods – methods to continue but use of (Jute bags, Rattan continue plastic packaging to baskets, modern grow at the cost of boxes) to continue wood based packaging Packaging Use of CFB Cartons, Use of CA/MA shrink wrapping for packaging to increase exports significantly Emergence of packing stations No significant Increased role Institutionalisation of change from current of cooperatives marketing & practices and private distribution network Marketing & institutions Distribution Middlemen would continue to play dominant role Level of processing Level of Level of processing (as % of total processing would be about production of fresh about 8-12% 15-20%. Focus to shift product) would from exports to Processing about 5-8% domestic consumption Consumption to be Increase in share of dominated by consumption by institutional/defence household sector and export segments Small scale sector to Small scale units to Industry dominate emerge as subsidiaries/ Structure ancillaries to large scale units Processing Technology Sun drying and Freeze drying Dehydration forced air drying Predominantly batch Use of low High temperature short pan concentration in temperature time evaporation will the small scale vacuum also be used sector evaporation Concentration Low temperature vacuum evaporation for large processing units IQF IQF IQF Freezing Plate Freezing Plate Freezing to decrease
  22. 22. Canning to dominate Canning as Use of aseptic filling well as use of Thermal aseptic filling Processing Introduction of aseptic filling No significant Increase in Use of food grade change from current use of food plastic and aseptic Packaging of practices grade plastics laminates Processed Aseptic Products packaging to gain popularity Will account for To account for To account for about Exports about 1-2% of world about 2-3% of 3-5% of world trade trade world trade Thrust on extension Thrust on Increasing role of services developing private sector in R&D new high yielding varieties Thrust on Fruits & Increasing role of R&D development of Vegetables private sector in R&D. varieties with with specific extended shelf life characteristics suited for processing to be developed List of Abbreviations used: CA : Controlled Atmosphere CFB : Corrugated Fluted Board CFTRI : Central Food Technological Research Institute HTST : High Temperature Short Time IQF : Instant Quality Freezing MA : Modified Atmosphere MT : Metric Ton UHT : Ultra High Temperature Technology to preserve vegetables The Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) here has developed a series of technologies for the preservation of food items, including the preservation of vegetables in farm-fresh condition. The technology will help preserve nearly 20 popular Indian vegetables in sachets for retail marketing. The technology, developed under a project supported by the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries, has standardised protocols for modified atmosphere packaging and storage of minimally processed vegetables in ready-to-use form. The protocols, in a combination of basic
  23. 23. science and advanced technologies, include minimal pre-treatment and processing operations to reduce the rate of spoiling of farm products. The processing involves washing, peeling, trimming, cutting, treatment with permitted preservatives, removal of surface moisture, packing in polymeric film pouches, and refrigeration. The shelf life of the vegetables can be extended by three to five times, and studies have indicated reduction in the initial microbial load. The technology has been test marketed through the outlets of Horticultural Produce Co-operative Marketing and Processing Society (HOPCOMS) in Mysore. Further, it has developed a process for the production of dehydrated green pepper without using sulphur dioxide. The dehydrated pepper obtained by this method has good flavour and colour, and can be a substitute for canned green pepper. Annexures: 1. Vegetable Processing-Chlorination Technique- annexure as Pdf file 2. Harvest & Storage of Fruits & Vegetables-Annexure as Pdf file 3. Drying of Vegetables-word document 4. European Vision for Plant Genomics & Biotechnology-Annexure as Pdf file

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