New production facility ensures supreme food safety for Hahn

By Laura Crowley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food, Industry

GC Hahn has opened the doors to its modernised production site in
Lubeck, which aims to cater to the increasing demand for the very
highest standards in food safety and traceability.

Worldwide supplier of food stabiliser systems Hahn has invested €8m in extending the site to meet the strictest of standards and regulations and to secure long term competitive advantages in terms of food safety. Marketing managing director Jan Dijksterhuis said: "We have always met every safety regulation, but it is quite obvious from what we hear from the food industry and our customers that food safety and the prevention of cross-contamination is becoming more of an issue. "As we become more global, supplying international customers, quality management and traceability are evermore important." ​ The new production system is based on technology employed in the pharmaceutical industry and uses sealed flexible mobile containers instead or more open air-flow based powder transport system. "This avoids cross contamination, which is vitally important in reducing allergen risks,"​ said Dijksterhuis. "It is 100 per cent automated meaning there is no room for human error or contamination." ​The new technology also improves environmental protection and cleaning efficiency as well as helping to trace the process of products, according to Dijksterhuis. He said: "Traceability is an important demand from customers. With the new system, everything is in separate batches allowing for full transparency and a greater flexibility in terms of raw materials. Also, because it is fully automated, we can trace back to the exact bag a product has come from and very quickly." ​ The original plant in Lubeck was built 18 years ago, and was therefore lacking in the latest technological developments. It has also run out of capacity, and so an expansion was necessary, for which Hahn decided to concentrate on quality control and food safety. ​The first production line is now in use and further facilities will be built up successively and put into operation. The full project is expected to be completed by July 2008. "The modernisation will not affect the cost of our products, nor will it give us a huge cost advantage"​ said Dijksterhuis. "More we are being prepared and listening to what our customers want." ​Hahn was acquired by UK company Tate & Lyle in July this year for £78 million (€116 million), with Hahn handing over an 80 per cent holding. Hahn said however that this did not influence its decision to extend its site, as the wheels had been in motion long before the acquisition.

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