Controlling for variability in your incoming ingredients, such as the percentage of gluten in
flour, can be a challenge. A lack of visibility into the composition of incoming ingredients can
require a lot of tweaking of the recipe, as well as potential waste or rework. Here are some
suggestions for improving the ways you manage ingredients:
1. Use lab batches to assure quality. Normally the manufacturer relies on the
approved supplier to guarantee performance and adhere to specifications. Repeated audits
of suppliers and requalification of their products is needed. However, if the manufacturing
process of the ingredient cannot be stabilized, then 100 percent inspection of each incoming
batch is required. Ultimately, and to minimize scrap with expensive or time-consuming
production runs, specifically if large batches are to be made, run a small lab batch first to
2. Real-time test results. Start with ingredient purchasing standards, then conduct
the standard tests you have established. Near-infrared spectroscopy is a good tool to achieve
fast and reliable results from testing. NIR functions (collection, analysis and integration) can
provide real-time data and enable real-time adjustments.
3. Composition analyzers. The positioning of sensors, such as gluten analyzers, is
important in order to be able to anticipate changes in composition. In general, you should
select the most sensitive analyzer and evaluate the possibility of multiple sensors for at least
two points. If any variability appears, it will require enough delay time to allow you to correct,
remix and retest. This can be done in a closed loop with feedback. Knowing the quality of
incoming raw materials is essential to reducing corrections.
4. Logistics essentials. Active ingredient management affects all business processes
in logistics for materials that contain one or more concentrates, or one or more active
ingredients. It enables you to directly process transactions in quantities of active ingredient.
It is important to maintain master data, entering the actual proportions of individual
active ingredients in each batch in batch specifications. You can store the material in
planned proportions of the individual active ingredients and also a planned interval for the
allowed active ingredient proportion. The active ingredient proportions are defined in the
classification system as characteristics. This data is essential for accurate bills of materials
(BOM) and purchase orders so that you can maintain required inventories.
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