S-Cool Revision Summary

S-Cool Revision Summary

Specifications

Design specification: Written early on in the development of a product and is quite general and wide.

Product specification: More detailed specification, usually written when the final product has been decided upon.

Manufacturing specification (Higher tier): Very detailed specification which would be given to the food manufacturer so that identical products can be produced on a large scale.

How to design a manufacturing specification...

Here are some ideas of what to include to produce a successful specifications...

  • Specific dimensions (with a sketch).
  • Specific qualities of ingredients.
  • Names of ingredients with weights and proportions to use.
  • Specific tolerances.
  • The size to which ingredients must be cut.
  • Types of cooking methods and cooking temeratures with critical control points.
  • Cooling times and methods.
  • Finishing techniques.
  • Specific details of packaging requirements.
  • Wording for the label.
  • Sometimes a photograph is used to help a manufactuer to meet that specification...

Development of a new product

Stages in product development:

Food Packages

Packaging and labelling of a food product

There are loads of different techniques designers use to sell a product - from bright colours, to simplistic text - depending on the age group of the people they're trying to attract. However, there are some limitations involved in the design process: the material used for the packaging needs to be suitable for the food product it is holding.

For example, if the product is a 'hand-held, take-away item', the packaging is likely to be...

  • See-through so the consumer can quickly see what they are buying.
  • Easy to remove.
  • An insulator if the product needs to be kept hot (Polystyrene, for example).
  • Grease and moiture resistant to keep hands clean.
  • Easy to dispose of and recyclable, ideally.

Suitable materials could be...

Plastic: This is lightweight, moisture-resistant and see-through, but can be difficult to recycle.
Polystyrene: This is lightweight, moisture-resistant and keeps food warm, but can be difficult to recycle.
Paper: Lightweight, easy to recycle and print on, but not resistant to moisture or grease.
Cardboard: Easy to print on, can be shaped to provide support, can be recycled, more moisture-resistant than paper.

Take-away products will not always show details of ingredients, weight, storage details etc. However, if the product is sealed in a wrapper, it should show the following legally required information:

  • Name and address of manufacturer/importer/retailer.
  • List of ingredients in descending order of weight.
  • Weight, or quantity.
  • Storage/cooking instructions
  • An indication of when it should be consumed by (an 'eat-by', for instance).
  • Name or description of the product.

Risk assessment

Risk assessment means making an assessment of any risk to a food product during its production. This involves working out what chances there are of a food product being damaged or made incorrectly.

  • Thinking about what could happen.
  • Planning how to prevent it from happening.

These regulations involve identifying the Critical Control Points (CCPs) which could be any part that could affect the finished quality of the product.

For example:

  • Weighing of ingredients.
  • Time - chilling, cooking, setting.
  • Shaping or division of dough.
  • Temperature - in storage, cooking, etc.
  • Consistency of mixtures.
  • Hygiene - of equipment, ingredients and handlers.

To establish a HACCP system for a product, a detailed analysis of the possible hazards needs to be undertaken. Critical Control Points can then be identified and appropriate control and monitoring systems put in place. These could include...

  • Thermometers on fridges/ovens.
  • Timing devices on ovens/chilling units.
  • Alarms which ring if any of these devices show a fault.
  • Visual checks
  • Micro-biological tests on food and equipment