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Blending of ingredients prior to production

allergens sqf traceability storage lot numbers blending

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Posted 29 July 2019 - 05:52 PM

Hello all,


Our organization routinely mixes dry ingredients into packaging for resale, but all of the dry ingredients has thus far been single-input such as cinnamon or oats. In a new series of recipes we are going to produce, I must pre-blend mono-input ingredients together before production will add them to the packaging for resale. For example, one mixture will be a coconut powder and a peanut powder, blended together and stored until production will mix it into the resale packaging(along with other ingredients). This poses several issues I have not had to address, such as how to store a blended allergen(I don't suppose I can get away with storing it with any other mono-allergen), how to record that I've blended it and how to record the lot numbers of the blended products in the final recipe. I would prefer to just label the new blend with both original lot numbers and use those respectively in the final product, and just create a spreadsheet for a blending record, but I'd love to hear from anyone with experience in this area.


Thank you,

Ryan M.

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Posted 29 July 2019 - 06:49 PM

In one of my former companies we pre-blended powders before adding to our batches.  Some of them contained dairy allergen and some did not.  We only had one ribbon blender and used it for the dairy allergen since that was more volume than the other blends.  Other blending was done by hand mixing (literally rolling a drum by hand).  We managed the allergen issue with the separate equipment and using liners in drums or bags.  As far as lot coding we had an ERP system that would assign the sublots to the mixed powder batches.  These sublots were traced back to the lot of the material input and through to the finished product batch.


If you don't have this type of system in place I like your idea of using the lot numbers of both inputs as the "sublot" or work in process lot number.  You'll just have to record the weights with each lot used as part of the sublot.  What if you have multiple lots of the raw materials?  Then it may get a bit more complicated.  If you are confident in your staff to follow this then by all means.


Hope this helps.


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Posted 29 July 2019 - 06:56 PM

In our facility we have a similar process with the blending of food grade flavour chemicals.  Though our products do not contain allergens, so we do not need to worry about this in the storage aspect, you must be able to separate this blended product to ensure that neither the blend or the mono-allergens are cross contaminated with one another.  As far as traceability goes, the most important point is that you know exactly what materials and lot numbers in what quantity have gone into the end product.  The way we manage this in our plant is by treating the blending as its own independent production procedure by which we introduce a unique lot number and validated expiration date having full traceability of the raw materials which have gone into the blend and from there, into the end product.  For our system this is the best way for us.  Labeling the blend with multiple lot numbers can get confusing but we deal with a large amount of bulk.  Ultimately it is up to you so long as you can prove that each material is fully accounted for.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: allergens, sqf, traceability, storage, lot numbers, blending

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