How Blockchain Technology will Revolutionize the Food Industry

Trust and compliance issues have been a major problem in the food industry for decades. Food manufacturers have had a difficult time tracking and recording food products with outdated programs and with how many intermediaries there are in the supply chain process. Food products have been altered or contaminated, causing one in ten consumers a year to get sick from contaminated food, and as many as 420,000 people a year die from foodborne illnesses.

So how do we stop this? How can the industry cut down on contamination, or at least be able to isolate a problem faster? The answer is blockchain.

Blockchain technology is a way of storing and sharing information across a network of users in an open virtual space. From end-to-end visibility to tamper-proof data, a number of industries, like gold production and pharma, are already utilizing the technology’s advantages.

Blockchain in the food industry would allow restaurants, grocers and farmers alike to easily trace and track each step of the supply chain, from “farm to fork.” Blockchain allows for specific products to be traced at any given time. Walmart, who sells 20% of all food in the United States, has just completed two pilot tests. Before using blockchain, Walmart conducted a traceback test on mangoes in one of its stores. It took six days, 18 hours and 26 minutes to trace their mangoes back to its original farm. Using blockchain, companies who utilize this technology would be able to provide all the information a consumer would want in a mere 2.2 seconds. Six days is an eternity during an outbreak of disease or contamination. Using blockchain technologies, countless lives would be saved and food waste would be greatly reduced, as it currently stands at whopping 33-40% a year.

Being able to have this large mass of data in one space, in real-time, would allow distributors, farmers and producers to easily see their competitor’s prices. This would allow each group to be able to compare what others in the industry are doing, and in turn, be more competitive with their prices and be more productive in their work.

Implementing blockchain, many of the current problems the food industry faces could be eliminated. Transparency is more important than ever to consumers. By setting up a system where consumers could simply scan the QR code on a food product using a smartphone, blockchain would allow each person to be able to see a log of the journey of that food product. The system would record and assign a digital certificate for each interaction with the said food item. Which would reduce the risk of adulteration in food products. I think it is evident that companies that become early adopters of blockchain technology will create a stronger customer loyalty.

Consumers want to know what they are putting into their bodies and trust that companies are being transparent with their ingredients. As companies adopt blockchain technologies, consum Learn More

Food Manufacturing Resources

Finding relevant information regarding food manufacturing can be difficult and time-consuming. Working in such a niche industry, you may believe there is not a lot of content out there pertaining to your unique career. We have compiled a list of resources, including some of the top websites, online magazines and blogs, to give you access to the latest in the food industry.

Food Manufacturing Trade Magazines & Blogs

  • Food Engineering Magazine is a monthly trade magazine that covers manufacturing techniques in the areas of packaging, processing, food safety, plant operations, automation and material handling.
  • Processing Magazine is a monthly trade magazine that is a great resource for process engineers who work in the food & beverage, oil & gas, pharmaceutical and chemical process industry.
  • Food Manufacturing offers a from-the-field perspective, keeping U.S. food processing plant managers, engineering personnel, facility maintenance professionals and other decision makers fully apprised of new product information, technology and processes.
  • IFT (Institute of Food Technologists) is a members-only service, consisting of the best minds in the food industry. Since 1939, IFT has been advancing the science of food and its application across the global food system by creating a dynamic forum where individuals from more than 90 countries can collaborate, learn, and grow, transforming scientific knowledge into innovative solutions for the benefit of people around the world. By becoming a member of this great collective, the opportunities to learn, grow and develop are limitless. Together, IFT hopes to create a world where science and innovation are universally viewed as essential to a safe, nutritious and sustainable food supply for everyone. As it states on their website, “[we are] a scientific society with vision, IFT is feeding the minds that feed the world.”
  • Food Processing is a monthly trade magazine and the go-to information source for the entire food and beverage industry. Information about new products and manufacturing best practices are just two of the many things this publication has to offer.
  • Stellar Food for Thought is a blog where experts in about food plant automation, process engineering, design-build and refrigeration share knowledge insights gained from over 30 years of working in the food manufacturing and distribution industry. They cover a range of topics such as food safety, energy efficiency, processing trends, design-build best practices, advances in refrigeration, new technologies, materials and techniques and more.
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Drink Up, Here are 4 Popular Nutritional Beverages in 2018

More and more Americans are caring about their health, the food they put in their body and what exactly goes into the food that they are feeding to their family. While life for most is still as fast-paced as ever, convenience and accessibility of nutrient-dense options are important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Nutritional beverages have become very popular over the past few years for their easy access, flavor options and on-the-go capabilities. Here are five trends that you will continue to see in nutritional beverages for the remainder of 2018.

1. Plant-based Probiotics

Probiotics have been a very popular point of discussion in the health community for a few years now. Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in the gut and work hard to provide better digestion, while also improving your immune system. Probiotics can be found in things like sauerkraut, kimchi and miso, but most recently in kombucha, a fermented tea. GoodBelly is a company that specializes solely in probiotic beverages. Each one of their drinks contains probiotic strain Lactobacillus plantarum 299v (LP299V®), “a strain proven of surviving the harsh acidic environment of the stomach in order to set up shop in the intestines.” Adding probiotics to your diet, especially through drinks, can help alleviate stomach issues such as cramping, constipation, bloating and feeling run-down.

2. Prebiotics

How do probiotics stay alive and thrive in the body? With prebiotics, of course! Prebiotics fuel probiotics and allow them to stay alive in the perilous conditions of the gut. Chicory root fibers are the only plant-based prebiotics that is proven to aid in calcium absorption, weight management and overall digestive help. Chicory root fibers can be found in a powder form (to add to your favorite drinks), yogurts, smoothies and nutrition bars. Prebiotin is one of the most popular powders available and you can purchase it here.

3. Milk Made from Everything but Dairy

As the dairy industry experiences a decrease in sales, the plant-based milk market is thriving. Almond and coconut milk have been increasing in popularity for more than a few years now, but with options like hazelnut milk, peanut milk, even milk made from oats and brown rice, alternatives to dairy milk are increasing in sales.

4. Stevia & Beyond

Stevia has proven to be the sweetener of choice for those looking to live a healthier lifestyle because it is lower in sugar and calories than regular sugar while being twice as sweet. With many different brands are producing stevia, such as Whole Earth and Truvia, there are many options available including some mixed with monk fruit, brown sugar and honey. So the next time you are in the breakroom grabbing an afternoon cup of coffee, try adding a little stevia to see how you like it.

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Food Manufacturing Salary Surveys

Are you curious about what others in this industry are making? Have you ever wondered how much on average your specific position makes? Well if you have, you are in luck. We have compiled a list of salary surveys from many different sources for your convenience.

 

• Food Manufacturing Salary – https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Industry=Food_Manufacturing/Salary
• 2017 IFT Employment and Salary Survey Report and Food Technology Magazine Insights Summary – http://www.ift.org/careercenter/salary-survey.aspx **You must purchase or have a membership to view**
• Food Manufacturing Salaries – https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics3_311000.htm
• Food Processing Workers’ Salary – https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes513099.htm
• 2017 Salary Survey – https://www.foodprocessing.com/articles/2017/salary-survey/
• US Food Salaries – https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/US-Foods-Salaries-E2856.htm
• Food Scientist Salary – https://www1.salary.com/Food-Scientist-Salaries.html
• Food Manufacturing Salaries – https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Food-Manufacturing/salaries

 

The food manufacturing industry is highly competitive. If you come to find that you are making less than average in your position and would like to look for a new career path, contact The Performance Exchange today and one of our talented staff members can aid in placing you in a career tailored to your skill set and needs. Visit our website at www.performexchange.com or call us anytime at (727)518-6100 X1000.

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Top Five Food Trends for Spring 2018

Over the past few years, the food industry has seen a huge shift in flavor and ingredient trends. Foods and textures that once consumed the nation, deep-fried foods, sugary drinks, and salty snacks, are now deemed unhealthy and thus, avoided like the plague. With plant-protein based dishes, all-natural beverages, and locally-sourced snack foods on the rise, we can see that trends have definitely shifted to align with the nation’s health food craze. Here, we have compiled a short list of five upcoming flavor and ingredient trends we are predicting to see in the spring of 2018.

1. Cold Brew Coffee & Beyond!

Most Americans, about 83%, drink coffee every day. Last year we saw everything from rainbow lattes, unicorn Frappuccino’s, and glitter in our beloved cup of Joe, to cold brew, nitrogen infused coffee, and even coffee-inspired cocktails. With spring right around the corner, it is hard to imagine what else could be in store for the coffee world. Hot cold brew is becoming more popular, popping up in corner stores and larger chains alike. “Hot” cold brew may sound like an oxymoron, but the cold brew process actually uses cold water, rather than hot, to brew the coffee, which cuts down on the acidity to provide a smoother flavor, and is easier to make in larger quantities. Cold brew is also popular with those who are health conscious. People are adding nut and seed milk to their favorite beverage, as well as superfoods like chia, turmeric, protein powder, maca, and flax seeds. By making your coffee nutrient-dense, that little pick me up can really provide you with the extra boost you need to get through the day.

 2. Soups > Juice

Juicing is way past its prime. Juice cleanses are still a very popular fab, but results from studies are showing that while yes, cleansing is good, the juice cleanses can cause an unhealthy increase in blood sugar. So while you may be losing water weight, you are putting your body at risk for other potential health issues. “Souping” is proving to be the latest and greatest trend because it’s a quick and easy way to get a multitude of vegetables and vitamins into your system. A group of researchers took the same exact foods, put one portion on a plate, and then took the other portion and blended it with a hot liquid to create a soup. Those who were given the hot soup serving reported staying fuller for longer. This is because their stomachs emptied more slowly. So put down that juice, and go grab yourself a warm, comforting cup of soup.

3. Plant Proteins

Being vegan or vegetarian has become the cultural norm, when just a decade ago, it was almost unheard of to not eat meat. The maj Learn More

Panera Bread Eliminates 150 ‘Unacceptable Ingredients’

Earlier this month, Panera Bread Co. announced that they are removing 150 ingredients from its food offerings. On May 5 released a lengthy list of ingredients that will be removed from or will never appear in its menu items, claiming to be the first national restaurant chain to do so. The company also announced its own clean- label salad dressings. (more…)

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