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Sieving Critical Limits in baking industry

Sieving critical limit cakes Flour

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#1 Hoosain44


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Posted 28 March 2019 - 12:36 PM

Hi Everyone  :smile:


My name is Hoosain, I hail from South Africa. Consulting on HACCP to a bakery for the 1st time in my career.

So... Sieving. Read a bit about it but could not exactly find what I was looking for. So the previous auditor found that there

was no "critical limit" written or in place for our ccp Sieving. Do you guys have anything I can write around sieving by hand. 

I read about integrity checks before and after usage. And here's no MD (metal detector). What is acceptable in the baking industry.


Many Thanks Guys 



#2 bcarballo


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Posted 28 March 2019 - 01:22 PM

Hi Hoosain,


The sieving limits will depend on what are you going to control.

If you receive flour on a truck and then it is unload to a hooper, you must control that no strange particles go into your fundamental elements. So the limit in that case might be 0. Because you dont want to have pieces of seeds, cristal or metals. The limitation will be the size of the flour particle or a little higher. If the particle is 0,5 mm you can put 0,6 mm like limit (Of course you will know better the size of the particle, not my case...)


On the other hand, If you want to control the final product you can have a metal detector. The metal detector only detects metal as its name says. You have also X-rays detector, where you can detect not only metal but also cristal and wood. So, If your final product is enveloped or packaged in a other material like plastic, paper or none. You will be able to detect any strange object. In that case the limits will be difined by the machine detector. Normally metal detectors work with 2 mm size as limit, with metals ferric and non ferric.


Hope it could be helpful 

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#3 SpankyK


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Posted 28 March 2019 - 10:23 PM

Maybe this can help.


#4 Jpainter


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Posted 28 March 2019 - 10:50 PM



What is the reason for screening? Is it to remove foreign objects from the product since there is no metal detector for the processing? Or is it for quality control purposes? FDA released a document titled "CPG Sec. 555.425 Foods, Adulteration Involving hard or Sharp Foreign Objects". It describes maximum allowable size for foreign materials being 7mm. I have never heard of using sieving as CCP for foreign object reduction, so if that is the goal you may have to look into that more. Here is a link to that FDA article: https://www.fda.gov/...t/ucm074554.pdf

Hope this helps, 



#5 mgourley


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Posted 28 March 2019 - 11:27 PM

You should re visit your hazard analysis. 

Having been in the bakery biz for 28 years, I have never had a CCP for a sieving process step.


If you have a 30 mesh screen on your flour sifter, you are not going to have any FM get through that would cause any type of foreign material problem.

You of course need to check the sifter on a regular basis to ensure that is intact, but as far as it being a CCP, that's overkill.



#6 Charles.C


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Posted 29 March 2019 - 01:43 AM

You should re visit your hazard analysis. 

Having been in the bakery biz for 28 years, I have never had a CCP for a sieving process step.


If you have a 30 mesh screen on your flour sifter, you are not going to have any FM get through that would cause any type of foreign material problem.

You of course need to check the sifter on a regular basis to ensure that is intact, but as far as it being a CCP, that's overkill.




Hi Marshall,


I mostly agree with you but, despite intuitive logics, there are many cases documented in this Forum where sieves are set as CCP steps (maybe not in USA). Including a few in Baking Industry (may often be due to customers/auditors !)


As per yr Post, and to answer the OP, the typical (but not unique) response for CL is to use integrity of screen.


Offhand, I wonder if in current case, the sieve will be the only CCP = haccp "pragmatism" in lieu of a metal detector. :smile:


Just for illustrations, ex Kraft manual -


3.3  Physical: Extraneous Matter

Pieces of glass, metal, hard plastic, etc. are potential physical hazards.  Extraneous matter does not usually present a significant risk of a severe adverse health effect, potentially causing only minor injuries. Extraneous matter is best controlled by Prerequisite Programs such as supplier selection and approval, preventative maintenance, etc. However, in some cases, the characteristics (size, shape and type) of the extraneous matter may potentially cause serious harm. On that basis, some extraneous management controls including detection/removal devices may be managed as CCPs.   
3.3.1   Definition
In general, extraneous matter is defined as any object/material that may become part of the product being produced that is not designed to be a part of such product. Relative to HACCP, extraneous matter pertains to objects that may potentially cause serious harm during consumption of the product. Typically these objects will be hard or sharp.


3.3.2   Management as a CCP or PP

When the Hazard Evaluation Flow Chart identifies the need to control the potential physical hazard posed by extraneous matter in HACCP, the following criteria establishes the CCP(s) or PP(s):

-  The PP for glass packaging is the clean-up of glass (following a breakage incident), post filling (or after the glass cleaner/inverter), prior to package capping, if a detection/removal device for
glass is not on the line. The inspection of the cleaning process must be documented.  In addition, glass filling lines must have covered conveyors over exposed open jars after the jar
cleaner/inverter (prior to filling and capping) to minimize potential for extraneous glass falling into an open jar.

 - An extraneous detection/removal device that is present on a line/process is a CCP if its primary purpose is to prevent, eliminate, or reduce hazardous extraneous matter in the product and it is the last and/or most effective extraneous detection/removal device on that line/process.

-  In some cases, more than one extraneous detection/removal device on a line/process may be managed as a CCP if the devices are effective for removing different types of extraneous matter

-  Extraneous removal/detection devices may include:

  Density Detectors
  De-stoners
  Magnets
  Metal Detectors
  Filters
  Screens
  Sieves
  Strainers
  Vision Systems
  X-Rays


Attached File  CCP,CL etc for in-line filter-screen-sifter-sieve.pdf   200.11KB   112 downloads

(a few "x"s are mentioned in previous threads on this topic)

Kind Regards,



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#7 moskito


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Posted 19 April 2019 - 03:30 PM

Dear all,


I agree with Charles.

Our principle is that each supplier has to apply foreign body reducing measures, ideally sieving and all our incoming raw materials are sieves prior use.

We are a bakery and most of our sieves are CCPs (not inline filters for water) even we have MD at the end of each line. Sieve will only discriminate by size, not by any material properties, are stable etc. etc.

Sieves will be checked prior and after manufacturing or beginning/end of shift.vMesh are metal or if plastic they are equipped with screen detectors.

Sieves are selected as narrow as possible (e.g. max 1 mm for flour, max 2,5 mm for sugar, max 0,5 mm for water, 1-3 mm for mixers etc.)


Why CCP? wood or spelts - not detectable with MD or x-ray; some glass - not detectable by x-ray; plastic - not detectable by MD or x-ray; stones not detectable by MD - but all can be removed by sieves.





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