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What does the food processing client want?

Sriballabh Rathi, Managing Partner, Sreeji Foods, Bengaluru

For 25 years, Sriballabh Rathi, Managing Partner, Sreeji Foods, Bengaluru has been in the business of manufacturing bakery ingredients. With an exclusive marketing tie up with a global conglomerate and Fortune 500 company headquartered in the US, he partners with them for their key bakery ingredients portfolio for India. His partner expects the highest product quality; in this article, the food processing industry veteran shares how hygiene management has been the cornerstone of their successful partnership.

Our production facility is spread across 13,000 sq feet and we have produced 3,500 metric tonnes of ingredients in the year 2021. Our product portfolio consists of dry blends, semi solid emulsifiers and blended edible oil emulsions.

Cleaning challenges

Each of our production lines is custom built. Standard cleaning equipment and technology cannot handle every aspect of production/storage. We are handling enzymes and proteins which are both susceptible to microbiological contamination. The production equipment is designed to deliver consistently high-quality products and keeping it 100% clean is the biggest challenge.

With increased production targets, the downtime for cleaning is always under pressure. Equipment like brushes and cloth used for cleaning are very critical; they should not leave behind strands and twigs during the cleaning process. It is very tough to source HACCP accredited cleaning aids in India. Imported equipment is very expensive and unviable.

Currently, we have deployed an HVAC system in the production area to keep it dust-free and humidity controlled. We have three different sizes of industrial vacuum pumps, a high pressure jet pump to handle wet cleaning, air curtains on entry doors to restrict dust entry, 3M brushes and biodegradable solvents for mopping and a caddy cart.

Willingness to outsource FM

We have outsourced pest control and employee uniform services. I am willing to outsource to a facility management company who will undertake deep cleaning of my facility at a predefined frequency. We will want to look for a globally accredited partner who is experienced enough to meet our requirements. They should also have a robust documentation process to record the activities carried out, point out discrepancies and suggest/train our employees to create a clean and safe production environment.

Waste management

A very important aspect of a clean production environment is robust waste management and recycling. We are segregating our wastes –  mainly raw material and packaging waste – into recyclable and non-recyclable waste. Besides this, we are also generating a lot of dry powder waste which is also disposed of at a local manure manufacturing facility. We ensure that not a single kilo of waste is burned; this helps in reducing our carbon footprint. The water we use for cleaning is drained into sinkholes, helping recharge the groundwater table.

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