How manufacturers identify non-conforming oil?
Eating bad oils can cause illness, it is important for manufacturers to identify non-conforming oil before selling it. Most of them adopted HACCP system in order to identify, assess, and control hazards in production process.
What is HACCP? (Coming soon)
What an oil manufacturer needs to do?
Be Prepare: Set up a non-conforming oil product policy and procedures
See if there is a adequate procedures documented, covering the following:
What attributes makes an oil non-conforming?
How will non-conforming oil be identfied, stored, be diposed or destroyed?
How is information regarding non-conforming oil captured, recorded and reported?
Who is responsible for taking action around non-conforming oil?
Inspection: Phyiscally inspect any non-conforming product for adequate identification and storage.
Correction: Take appropriate corrective actions if your find inconsistences with your procedures or physical conformance.
Test the System: Perform drill regularly to get familiar with the procedures, and continuously improve the system.
What is a non-conforming oil?
1. Oil is contaminated with microbiological, chemical and physical hazards
2. Finished product weight issues (generally underweight product)
3. Quality attributes do not meet the required finished product specification, for example what it looks like, how it taste, what it smell like and how it feels. e.g. Extra virgin olive oil should reatins its natural aroma, light color, smoothness.
Identifying non-conforming oil
Risks of identified hazards in Table 1 could be reduced by control measures. Oil that does not meet food safety, quality or regulatory requirements should be adequately identified and stored to prevent accidentak use.
Identification of non-conforming unit based on inspection done by quality assurance team. They monitor the production process and take samples for test. If a non-conforming unit is found, products from the same batch should be quarantined and wait for further tests. Production may also need to stop, prevent producing more non-conforming units.
For edible oil, free fatty acid (FFA) is the most common parameter to ensure product integrity. FFA expressed in oleic acid, is the product of oil breakdown. Some other test such as peroxide value, iodine value may also be tested.
For extra virgin olive oil, many countries adopted stricter regulations sinece there were massive frauds of extra virgin olive oil from Europe in past few years. Other quality characteristics such as color, flavor, and odor, Erythrodiol and Uvaol (differentiate pressed oil and solvent extracted oil) are also tested.
Massive Fraud in Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The non-conforming units should be quarantined from the normal units throughout the investigation, until they are ready for disposal. The most common methods usedare the "hazards stickers" and designated storage or quarantine areas.