Most of Food Manufacture’s readers will already be familiar with Campden BRI. However, many may not be aware of how we decide our annual research programme.
We are privileged to have more than 2,500 companies from the global food and drink industry as members, and these firms have a huge influence on what we do. They decide the direction of our research and this, ultimately, impacts the whole sector, as their needs and concerns offer a window into what the industry deems important. Here’s a quick summary.
You’ve probably guessed two of the areas of interest for our 2020 programme: we’re already running a project on plastics alternatives, but this year’s focus will be on reusable packaging, investigating the impact on the packaging material if it is being reused? Could it compromise food safety and quality?
On veganism and vegetarianism there’s much inconsistency to decipher and we’ll look to produce guidance on how to navigate the issues. Meanwhile, on novel foods, we will aim to provide a better understanding of novel ingredients in terms of the industry’s and consumers’ perception and their acceptance.
Listeria and foreign body control
Listeria continues to be a high-profile issue, so one of our projects will cover its control in ready-to-eat foods. Similarly, foreign body control remains an ongoing challenge, so we’ll be evaluating new technologies’ ability to detect foreign bodies and quality defects.
On a similar theme, we’ll be investigating the microflora of factories that make different products, using advanced microbial profiling.
Bridging the gap between ‘man and machine’, another project will build an understanding of the relationship between instrumental assessment and properties perceived by human assessors. Meanwhile, cereal-based products and ingredients for the food and brewing industry will also be investigated as one of the eight new research projects for 2020.