As previously published in Food Quality & Safety by Jason Andersen

In order to prevent recall risks, food manufacturers today are using a variety of techniques. One example, DNA analysis, can sense when ingredients are unsafe and could affect food quality or product safety. However, while manufacturers may have controls set up to monitor their own processes, they are missing specific, beginning-to-end monitoring of their entire supply chain, including raw materials through packaging and distribution, which will help them recalibrate and adjust to this new-found visibility. This need for beginning-to-end monitoring makes the food and beverage industry ripe for disruption with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Although it sounds like a large undertaking, food manufacturers looking to adopt the IIoT will only have a few main things to consider when first starting out.

The benefits IIoT technology can bring to the food and beverage industry are undeniable, especially to help reduce recalls. Yet, thin margins and high competition are things food manufacturers need to consider before making the investment, which can sometimes make them slow or hesitant to move forward.

However, by knowing where to focus these efforts first and how it will pay off in the long run, manufacturers can make smart decisions when implementing the IIoT into existing processes. Three main factors to consider include the following:

  • Expand on and prioritize existing critical control points. Begin with areas that are most essential to food safety and quality, like the Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP).
  • Ensure compliance through the IIoT. Through real-time chemical and spectroscopic analysis data, manufacturers can identify potential problems early in production and respond proactively before the product has been produced and shipped.
  • Protect and leverage data to decrease risk. manufacturers need to invest in systems that ensure the continuous operation of critical production and monitoring equipment.