Food Processing business
Food processing is big business and covers a huge market base. There are many sectors and subsectors in the food processing industry.
Raw ingredients are processed into edible food through cooking, grinding, steaming, mincing, boiling and macerating. They go through preservation and distribution methods such as salting, pickling, drying, freezing, pasteurizing and canning.
Why Start a Food Processing Business
Raw food is loaded with harmful agents such as bacteria, different pathogens and toxins Therefore it is imperative to process our food for safer meals.
Processed foods have longer shelf lives, provides consistency, easy to transport and sell. Canned food prevents decomposition and provides food processors a good medium to sell the product.
Another advantage of processed food is convenience, improved taste and proportioning. It also provides an easier pricing system for the product.
The downside inherent in processed food is loss of nutritional value and risk of harmful food additives. The mechanical process could introduce contaminants and density.
Everybody knows that fresh fruits are by far superior in nutritional value than canned fruits.
Food Processing Regulations, Licensing and Permits
The food processing business is bound by several regulatory provisions. The permits and licensing differ from each country.
However they border on heath and safety issue, processing methods and quality issues. The main bodies that regulate the industry are the international standards organization, national food and drug administration and food processing associations.
They are known by different names in each country however they carry out similar functions. In America you have the Federal food and drug administration carrying out this statutory duty. Specific products attract different state and federal laws guiding the industry.
How to Run a Food Processing Business
To run a food processing business you need to have high standard, factor health considerations and efficiency. The processing plant should function at optimal efficiency to reduce costs.
Therefore the five parameters to a successful plant are labor, waste management, efficiency of assembly line, energy expended and hygiene.
Food Processing Regulations
Food processing companies are subject to food and drug administration regulations. They regulate ingredients, factory conditions and canning.
The regulations focus on food additives, production methodology, supplements and food contact substances. Other guidelines focus on commercial factories, home based businesses, imports including hazard analysis and labeling.
They also provide guidelines on specific food products and waste management strategies. Food processing companies are generally inspected to enforce food safety.
The food facility should apply for registration based on the type of food processed. The company should ensure food safety, proper labeling and waste management structures before distribution of the product. A different regulatory body the DSHEA handles dietary supplements.
In the food processing business labeling is very important. The labels should meet federal and state laws on information about the product.
The ingredients and portions should be clearly displayed on the packaging. There are a few government acts on labeling such as food allergen and consumer protection act, nutritional labeling act and fair packaging act.
Steps to Start a Food Processing Business
Before you start your food processing business make sure the business has all the state permits and licenses. Cash strapped investors could start small and grow the inventory.
The next step is to focus on a niche sector. Try to use quality raw materials and ingredients during the manufacturing process. Quality products will always attract good patronage than substandard products.
Develop an effective marketing strategy and apply trademarks or branding. Make sure your plant works efficiently to save time and labor costs.
Funding the Food Processing Business
Majority of the funds goes into procurement of raw materials, ingredients and equipment. You need a factory space, labor, marketing and supplies.
To rise funds try target saving or borrow money from relations. Join a food manufacturers association and enjoy discounted bank loans and subventions.