banner banner

Product safety and quality

As a food and feed producer, product quality and safety is essential to our business. Many quality parameters as the purity, the colour and the ash content are legally defined. In addition many customers have special contractual requirements for other parameters.

nordzucker

Assessing risks

An other legal obligation is to assess our entire production process for potential product safety risks by using a method called Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP). This is a method for detecting all microbiological, physical, chemical and allergenic risks. The assessment is regularly updated, especially when any changes occur in the factories.

Sugar itself is an inherently safe product as microorganisms will not survive in crystalline sugar, so the remaining risks are foreign bodies or chemical residues. We take rigorous steps to detect any issues and prevent all contamination.
 

Minimising risks

We have implemented a series of measures to eliminate or minimise all detected risks. The process of sugar production takes place with high temperatures and high pH values, which eliminates microorganisms that may have entered the process via the sugar beets. Subsequent microbial infection is minimised by our strict corporate hygiene rules. All employees who work directly with our products receive hygiene training at least once a year.

In order to prevent foreign bodies contaminating our products, sieves, magnets and/or metal detectors are installed in all our food and feed lines.

To minimise the risk for chemical contamination all Nordzucker ingredients and processing aids must be internally approved before use. This includes a requirement that substances are free of allergens. In addition, we put high demands on our suppliers to meet our product safety standards.

Monitoring food and animal feed 

A decade ago, we set up a program to monitor all of our food and animal feed annually for any health risks. Since then, parameters such as heavy metals, pesticides and pathogenic microorganisms have been analysed by external accredited laboratories.

Ensuring traceability

According to EU regulations 178/2002 and 1935/2004 respectively, all food and feed products and all direct packaging material must be traceable. This means that the immediate supplier of a food product and the immediate subsequent recipient must both be identifiable. This is commonly known as the one step up/one step down system. We make sure that all of our products are traceable, and test traceability at least once a year.

nordzucker

Audit programme

To support our commitment to delivering high quality and safe products, we perform internal audits. These audits are also used to share knowledge and promote common learning across our 18 sites.

We also audit suppliers of materials that could affect our products, such as seed materials, raw cane sugar for our refineries, ingredients, food contact materials, external storages and transport companies.

Impact

 

Our programme for monitoring food and animal feed shows that all analyzed parameters are within legal limits and that our processes are effective. This gives our customers the assurance that Nordzucker products are of consistently high quality.

As a result of our one step up/one step down traceability system, Nordzucker is able to trace all beet supplies to growers and all other material back to commercial suppliers. All deliveries of products, including their direct packaging material, are traceable to our customers. We do have some limitations in our internal traceability due to continuous production processes and storage in large silos. However, beets can be traced back to the growers and products to the silos.

All audit findings are used for our continuous improvement process. The results are evaluated and shared with the management in order to bring about further improvements.