In this case study, sweets and spices purveyor Kalustyan reports on its experience with S+S Separation and Sorting Technology and comments on how S+S’s array of product solutions is fueling growth.
Federal regulations of the food industry have ramped up significantly in the past several years. In 2011, the Obama administration signed the Food Safety Management Act (FSMA) into law, which is part of a sweeping new focus on prevention of food contamination following years of playing catch-up after a problem is detected. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with enforcing FSMA. The industry has also had to grapple with revised, and tougher, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) requirements.
FSMA gives the FDA a new and very wide public health mandate that puts more pressure on industry. It directs the FDA to establish and enforce standards for adoption of modern food safety prevention practices by those who grow, process, transport, and store food. It also gives the FDA new mandates, authorities and oversight tools aimed at providing solid assurances that those practices are being carried out by the food industry on a consistent, ongoing basis.
For Kalustyan, a spice and herbs processing company located in New Jersey, the new and revised federal regulations posed significant new compliance challenges. In addition, its largest customers were demanding assurance that Kalustyan’s products were up to the mark.
“Our quality system is based on Global Food Safety Initiatives (GFSI) and is the backbone of our organisation,” said Abdul Basit Gaba, director, quality/food safety.
“We have a systematic assessment of each step of our production processes through our HACCP plan and a proactive and preventative control of all raw materials, processing activities, and our processing environment.”
To meet its customers’ growing needs, Kalustyan proceeded to find new solutions.
“We believe that our success depends on the supply of safe quality products that meet or exceed our customers’ expectations,” said CEO Errol Karakash.
“Our customers appreciated the fact that we were tackling the new regulatory requirements head on,” said Fernando Porras, Kalustyan’s VP of operations.
Kalustyan has been in the business of sourcing spices and herbs globally since the company was founded in 1977. Achieving a BRC rating of “A” for the last three years, along with Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) certification, Kalustyan has also deployed a long-standing, positive control-based, quality assurance approach to prevent adulteration and provide safe product to many of the leading manufacturers in the world.
“Over time, we have refined our programs to further guarantee the quality and safety of our products,” said Abdul. Kalustyan has manufacturing operations in three countries so far, and the company takes its commitments to quality work in each location very seriously, Abdul stressed.
After trying out a number of competing solutions, Kalustyan decided to stick with S+S Inspection. “From a cost perspective, they were about in the middle of the pack, but from a dependability and performance perspective, S+S Inspection was at the head of the class,” said Abdul. “S+S Inspection delivered the most effective and efficient method to assure the absence of economic adulterants and contaminants in the product.
“Because some of our products are packaged in foil, we need more than a basic metal detector. We require the extra comfort of x-ray inspection. S+S Inspection meets or exceeds our requirements every day.”
Kalustyan currently leverages three S+S Inspection solutions; the Raycon X-ray Inspection System, and two designs of gravity free-fall metal detectors, the Rapid 4000 and the Rapid 5000. The Raycon X-ray Inspection System includes a full product inspection window without blind corners that assures 100% product inspection, regardless of product height or placement on the belt. A real-time operating system performs at up to 600ppm with simultaneous inspection of up to four lanes running in different products in parallel.
The Rapid 4000 is used for the inspection of spice and grain materials to detect and reject magnetic and nonmagnetic metal contamination, even when enclosed in the product. It ensures product quality, prevents customer complaints, and provides a quick return on investment when used to protect against expensive processing machinery failures therefore maximising production uptime efficiency.
The Rapid 5000 operates as an effective metal detector for the inspection of powdery and fine-grained bulk materials. It detects and rejects magnetic and nonmagnetic metal contaminants, with a unique elliptical stainless steel reject flap diverter. The leading hygienic design does not have any corners or niches that can be harborage areas for pathogen growth, making it suitable in applications where high sanitary standards are required. All S+S Inspection solutions are BRC, IFS and HACCP compliant.
Implementation of the system upgrade began in June 2014. It was a smooth process, eased by S+S Inspection’s simple operation and easy to understand communications. “We knew it would work,” said Abdul. “Our track record with S+S Inspection made us confident of that.”
Working with S+S Inspection, the NJ-based operation continues to import and manufacture products from all corners of the globe in order to meet the specifications of its customers. “It feels good to work with a vendor partner who understands our mission and is helping us to achieve it,” said Abdul.
Kalustyan even has plans to purchase more equipment from S+S Inspection. “It’s been nothing but a positive experience for us, and we’d like to build on that success,” said Abdul.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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