New book on food safety techniques launched
A new publication on food safety and quality systems, launched last Thursday at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew, has been lauded by former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson as "a rich source of information that reveals the practical application of technology to solving problems of food safety and quality in the food industry".
The publication, the second of a three-part series, entitled Food Safety and Quality Systems in Developing Countries, is the work of Jamaican food scientist, Dr AndrÈ Gordon, who is managing director of Technological Solutions Limited.
Gordon pointed out that the publication is intended to introduce the global food industry to the fact that developing countries, and the Caribbean in particular, have the sophistication and capabilities to apply sound, world-class scientific principles and approaches to deliver globally competitive, superior products to global markets.
He noted that the book is structured to present a platform through which Jamaican and Caribbean foods, including some of Jamaica's iconic products, could be promoted globally and presented as excellent products of exceptional quality whose production is backed by sound science.
The application of science to solving problems, including market-access challenges, he said, was no less sophisticated than the major brands such as Unilever, Kraft, General Foods, and NestlÈ.
"The transformational value of this volume lies firstly in its timeliness," Patterson commented.
"It comes at a juncture when we in Jamaica, like many other developing countries, face renewed challenges in improving the quality of our processed food within both the domestic and export markets.
We are called upon to increase the sophistication of our processes through the prudent application of outstanding research."
The book offers case studies in the effective implementation of challenges in meeting food safety standards and quality requirements of markets in the United States, Canada, and the European Union.
... Standards official gives publication thumbs up
In his review of Jamaican food scientist Dr AndrÈ Gordon's Food Safety and Quality Systems in Developing Countries, James Rawle, chairman of the Standards Council of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), said that it was of tremendous value to students and scholars of food science and technology, as well as food industry professionals regionally and worldwide.
The book, Rawle noted, covers the fundamentals of food science, including the physical, chemical and ingredient interactions, and the microbiological and sensory aspects of food.
"The work draws on years of real-life interventions in a range of industries and essentially looks at food safety quality systems through the prisms of traditional foods and meal ingredients from developing countries that are gaining, or have gained, widescale acceptance in developed markets, and the inevitable food safety, regulatory and quality issues arising, which translates into 'the dreaded market-access issues'," he pointed out.
Rawle noted that some traditional products and the processes applied to them are "decoded", in that the science involved in their manufacture, stability, and important, safety and quality, is precisely elucidated and challenged through carefully designed studies. In support of this, he added, processes and conditions are precisely defined, flows streamlined and documented to ensure guaranteed standards, outcomes, repeatability, consistency and safety every time.
The main point affirmed by this development, Mr Rawle said, was that many traditional Jamaican foods (including jerk sauces and seasonings, browning, coconut water, canned ackees, and callaloo) are fast becoming mainstream products in developed markets, no longer confined to ethnic shops, but are prominently present in the large multiple-branch food chains in those markets, in line with their expanding consumer appeal.
The book is published by world-leading scientific and technical publishers Elsevier, through its Academic Press imprint and is available on Amazon.com as well as from the publisher. Locally, books are available at Technological Solutions Limited at the Trade Centre on Red Hills Road.