05/03/2024 | Trade Fair

Anuga FoodTec presents modern approaches to process analysis and quality control

Thanks to progress in the field of optical technologies, many tasks of quality control and assurance can in the meantime be solved in real time. Artificial intelligence and deep learning algorithms thereby play an increasingly important role on the Cologne fair grounds." In the food industry, quality control with its classic methods of analysis and wet chemical processes is still very broadly distributed. This takes place in the lab, whereby a sample is taken for each batch. Products that do not correspond with specifications are held back. There is often thereby a heterogeneous environment of analysis devices, software tools and processes present in the company. The devices are linked only in individual cases via the operating software with a central lab information and management system (LIMS). The data are transferred with USB sticks and Excel sheets or, least ideally, are printed out and handed over manually – such a procedure in times of increasing digitalisation is hardly practical. The key to the better product In addition to this, the samples must be taken during ongoing production under observance of the strictest hygiene conditions, which proves especially difficult in closed processes. "Especially with regard to trends like the Internet of Things and Big Data, various processes and structures in quality assurance must be adapted in companies that process food", says Matthias Schlüter, Director Anuga FoodTec. Automation solutions and process analysis technologies (PAT), both areas of focus on the Cologne fair grounds, are key to this. "Visitors find a comprehensive offering across segments for qualitative and quantitative analysis in the lab and process at the stands of the exhibitors", according to Schlüter. With a PAT-based approach, the measurement parameters familiar from the lab are directly recorded in the production process by the analysis instruments. From there, the values are transferred to the process control system, which can be integrated on the device side into an Industry 4.0 concept. The declared goal: to ensure a food production within the specifications from the start that avoids product losses and helps reduce costs.