EHL Ingredients has overhauled its production processes to completely segregate lines for ingredients containing allergens and non-allergen products to meet increased customer demand for for gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and sulphite-free food ingredients.
The company has installed three new pieces of machinery in its third site on Broadstone Industrial Estate to reduce risks of cross-contamination of products during production and handling.
EHL Ingredients says it can now offer non-allergen products under its Lähde brand to customers with complete confidence that no cross-contamination has occurred at any point during product handling and production.
Previously lines were thoroughly cleansed and sanitised in between products but since EHL took on an additional site earlier this year, the company says it now has the space for separate production lines and machinery. This new allergen management process, it believes, gives customers additional peace of mind that there is no risk of cross-contamination between ingredients at any point.
New machinery includes a Star Auger automatic filling machine, which will portion and dispense dried herbs and spices, and a new PFM Zenith Bagmaker from The Food Machinery Company in Kent, which will handle blended powders, grains, seeds and beans – all for non-allergen lines – and will fill 150g, 250g and 1000g packs. In addition, EHL has installed an automated labeling machine supplied by Advanced Dynamics to speed up the adhesion of labels, as they were previously attached by hand, and will enhance the final presentation of products. It too will be dedicated to the non-allergen lines meaning all EHL’s ingredients will be separated from products containing allergens, even when labels are being attached.
These three new machines will, the company says, enhance production, speed and efficiency on its non-allergen lines and provide further guarantees that no cross contamination has occurred at any point during the handling of the products.
Tasneem Alonzo, joint managing director, said: “We have always had stringent allergen controls in place but this investment in completely separate production areas for standard and non-allergen ingredients means our customers can rest assured that the products they receive from us have not come into contact with allergens at any point during our handling. It means we can operate more efficiently and speed up production, offer a quicker turnaround, and deliver products to our customers in shorter lead times.”
“We are aware many companies carry out risk assessments on batches of allergen-free products but taking these steps means we can help our customers to reduce the number of product recalls and protect consumers against potential allergic reactions.”
“There is a rise in food allergy sufferers in the UK and around 1% of Britons suffer from coeliac disease (gluten allergy), with around 12% of adults choosing to follow a gluten-free diet. To feed this demand, the food industry is under pressure to bring high quality, differentiated, allergen-free and free-from products to market.”
“We already offer over 50 individual gluten-free herbs and spices including dried ground turmeric, cassia, star anise, oregano, ginger, chilli, coriander seed, pepper, paprika and nutmeg. Herbs such as dried parsley, sage, and basil are also available, as well as blends and seasonings in allergen-free formats – perfect for adding to formulations and recipes for soups, sauces, marinades and meal kits, and world foods such as curries, tagines and stews. We’re going to be adding more allergen-free products to our Lähde range to give our customers more choice in free-from herbs and spices to add to innovative new international organic dishes, meals and accompaniments.”