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Specifications for Spices & Seasonings


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#1 The Food Scientist

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 07:01 PM

Hey everyone! 

 

So I kind of need a little help in this matter as I haven't been in this position before. I need to establish specifications (micro, physical & chemicals) for spices & seasonings and I am little lost in how to start or where to start. A little brief overview, we repackage spices, herbs (single product that only gets repackaged into our packaging) and seasonings (we mix here and package). So I was thinking that for the single products that dont get mixed, I would have already had the spec sheet directly from the supplier. and for the seasoning that would be mixed at our facility, I would need to assess. How will this be established? Shall I send some samples of those products to a lab in multiples and establish the limits (specs)? Or is there a standard set (USA) for those specs? I tried looking up some guidance but couldn't find anything. Any help would be appreciated!


Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


#2 The Food Scientist

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 07:33 PM

Now I have been aware that these specifications are dictated by our customers, correct? 


Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


#3 kfromNE

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 06:32 PM

This is from the American Spice Trade Association. I couldn't get it to download - you might have to be a member to do this. But it should help you with specs.

 

https://www.astaspic...specifications/



#4 FSQA

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 07:39 PM

Now I have been aware that these specifications are dictated by our customers, correct? 

Correct, in spice industry it is mostly driven by your customer requirements and the type of products you process. If this is something that you or your company would be dealing in moving forward, I would highly recommend to become a member of ASTA, as it you will find enormous sources of information through that platform.

 

You specification sheets should include physical (particle size), microbial limits and chemical parameters of the product (e.g Piperine levels in black/white pepper, pungency in Cayenne, moisture levels, water activity and so on).

A good start up point will be checking your vendor  spec sheets and customer spec requirements and testing results of your products.

 

A simple google search will reveal various formats for you to get started.



#5 FSQA

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 07:52 PM

So I was thinking that for the single products that dont get mixed, I would have already had the spec sheet directly from the supplier.

Yes,

 

and for the seasoning that would be mixed at our facility, I would need to assess. How will this be established? Shall I send some samples of those products to a lab in multiples and establish the limits (specs)? 

Yes, you will need to test the seasonings (post processing), until you achieve the customer requirements. Do you have any in-house lab for physical and chemical testings?



#6 Tony-C

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 04:04 AM

Hey everyone! 

 

So I kind of need a little help in this matter as I haven't been in this position before. I need to establish specifications (micro, physical & chemicals) for spices & seasonings and I am little lost in how to start or where to start. A little brief overview, we repackage spices, herbs (single product that only gets repackaged into our packaging) and seasonings (we mix here and package). So I was thinking that for the single products that dont get mixed, I would have already had the spec sheet directly from the supplier. and for the seasoning that would be mixed at our facility, I would need to assess. How will this be established? Shall I send some samples of those products to a lab in multiples and establish the limits (specs)? Or is there a standard set (USA) for those specs? I tried looking up some guidance but couldn't find anything. Any help would be appreciated!

 

Hi The Food Scientist,

 

There is a free guidance from the American Spice Trade Association (See KfromIA post above).

 

Attached File  Clean Safe Spices Guidance from the American Spice Trade Association 2017.pdf   426.17KB   58 downloads

 

Specifications required by customers will depend on their products and if the spices/seasonings are further processed. In the past there have been many issues associated caused by contaminated spices in RTE foods, sandwiches for example.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony



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#7 Charles.C

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 04:28 AM

Many Thks Tony.

 

FWIW the same organisation (freely) offers, a model hazard analysis (annex3)(et al) which is one of the most "compact" I have seen -

 

https://www.astaspic...and-seasonings/

 

I also noted this comment in attachment, Post 6 -

 

The Cleanliness Specifications do not address microbiological  contamination  of  spices  or  the  adulteration  of  spices  through the inclusion of dyes or other materials not permitted in spices.

 

also see  attachment Posts 12, 15 /surrounding thread -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...ount-in-spices/

 

Attached File  Spices Specification.pdf   188.5KB   47 downloads


Edited by Charles.C, 01 May 2019 - 07:53 AM.
expanded

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#8 Hank Major

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 09:05 PM

Hi The Food Scientist,

 

There is a free guidance from the American Spice Trade Association (See KfromIA post above).

 

attachicon.gif Clean Safe Spices Guidance from the American Spice Trade Association 2017.pdf

 

Specifications required by customers will depend on their products and if the spices/seasonings are further processed. In the past there have been many issues associated caused by contaminated spices in RTE foods, sandwiches for example.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony

 

 

If you look at that guidance document's flow chart carefully, you will notice that they put the grinding step after the product has arrived in the US. A word to the wise is sufficient.



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#9 FSQA

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 09:00 PM

If you look at that guidance document's flow chart carefully, you will notice that they put the grinding step after the product has arrived in the US. A word to the wise is sufficient.

Agreed, otherwise be prepared for the cumin/peanut issue occurred a couple of years back.



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#10 Tony-C

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 04:33 AM

Good point Hank Major and FSQA:

Undeclared Peanut and Almond in Ground Cumin and Ground Cumin Containing Products

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony



#11 Charles.C

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 05:04 AM

Good point Hank Major and FSQA:

Undeclared Peanut and Almond in Ground Cumin and Ground Cumin Containing Products

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony

 

Hi Tony,

 

Thks for the informative link.

 

We DO NOT purchase ANY ground cumin. We grind whole cumin only, in house in Northampton.

 

 

Must admit I first read the above as in a house !


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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