Product specifications for food is a list of all ingredients throughout the food manufacturing process and packaging materials involved in the making and packaging of the food product. It includes many elements such as allergens, microbiological compounds, product name, storage needs and directions for use to name just a very few components that should be a part of the product specification. The FDA, USDA, and many other regulatory commissions provide written procedures and directives on many different types of food products. They regulate the specifications required per product that must meet strict standards and be visible on an actual label placed on the packaging. There are numerous labelling requirements to include nutritional value, safety inspections, and by-products within the packaging materials and foods.
Basic Requirements of Product Specifications for Food Labels
Most food manufactured and packaged all over the world are regulated and held to strict standards according to local and universal authoritative agencies. Each food product specification label must include an abundance of information regarding the food product and the packaging elements. There must be a product description and weight with all nutritional value included. Any chemical or physical by-products used in either the food or packaging and any allergens and microbiological specifications for foods. The shelf life, the storage conditions needed and the preservation method must also be included. The ingredients, directions for use, country of origin and method of manufacturing are also needed. These are only a few of the requirements for product specifications for food, but will give you an understanding of the amount of scrutiny involved with the manufacturing and packaging of food products.
Different Food Product Specification Categories
The food products offered on today’s market throughout the world are diverse and must be treated differently in their manufacturing, preparation, and packaging. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and legumes are naturally grown and require different treatment and packaging than manufactured fruit juices and even canned vegetables or frozen legumes. Store bought turkey, chicken, beef, and pork are under strict guidelines and food product specifications needed to make sure the product is safe for consumption. There are differences in the product specifications if the meat is frozen, cooked or treated in some way. Grains, oils, nuts, dairy products and egg and fish products all differ as far as regulations and requirements as well. Their microbiological specifications for foods in these groups tend to be a little more inherent for certain products thus requiring more testing and proper use requirements.
Product specifications for food are needed to maintain traceability when there is a problem and to allow informed consumers the ability to know that the food contains what it is said to contain and that it is safe for consumption. The food product specification has certain items it must contain and each category of food items requires different methods of treatment when it comes down to shelf life, packaging requirements, and even usability.