A closer look at food and beverage industry certificationsBy Brad Klepec, Market Development Leader at U.S. Water - 2nd July 2018
What’s in a label?
In recent years, terms such as Certified Organic, Gluten-Free, Kosher, Halal and Non-GMO Project have been sported on labels throughout local supermarkets and have changed consumer buying habits. But just how important are these certifications to US food and beverage industry customers? In fact, they are all big business.
- According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), more than 82% of US households buy organic products, and in 2017 Americans spent nearly $50 billion on organic products alone.
- The Kosher Trust says there are more than 12 million kosher consumers in the USA, and 21% of Americans regularly or occasionally purchase kosher products.
- The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of American reported that halal sales hit $20 billion in 2016.
- The market for gluten-free foods is increasing, and is expected to reach around $8 billion by 2020.
Similar product seals and certifications help food processors inform the public about allergen considerations (Gluten-Free), ingredient content (Non-GMO Project), religious dietary laws (Kosher and Halal) and other information. It is important that food and beverage facilities understand these requirements, and that they implement a compliant water treatment and sanitation program.
Compliant water treatment and sanitation
The food and beverages processing industry requires a huge amount of water. Food industry standards specify that, spent process water intended for reuse (even for cleaning purposes) must be at least of drinking quality. Another challenge is the amount of wastewater continuously produced in the food plants, which must be dealt with according to regulations.
These certifications are extremely important to the food and beverage industry, which must provide products and programmes that meet regulatory compliance and quality assurance specifications, while increasing their system efficiency and minimizing operational costs.
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