Fresh produce quality control has never been easier for packer, processors and wholesalers of fruit & vegetable, seafood, poultry, meats, flowers, herbs, seeds, hope and other foods that need fresh produce quality control.
Flexible fresh produce quality control software can be used to reduce the incorrect categorization of fresh produce as waste, leading to higher pack shed profits and more consistent quality, with improved customer satisfaction. FarmSoft manages fresh produce businesses from end to end, providing a comprehensive fresh produce business management solution.
Reduce fresh produce losses by Quality Analysis analysis of fresh produce that has been discarded as “waste” to ensure waste product is within the specification of waste.
Quality control app for fresh produce
Manage customer complaints for fresh produce: track comments, customer feedback, photos, and resolutions provided when a complaint is made. Trace complaints back to the supplier or your own block/crop/patch/batch.
Supplier quality management: monitor and manage quality from each supplier, receive supplier quality alerts, track quality issues back to suppliers batches, plots, and blocks.
Configure unlimited quality control programs, including specific programs for produce, variety, customer, or finished product. Flexibly add your own fields and options to tests as required.
Quality control tests can be for almost anything, such as testing incoming produce, outgoing produce, pre pack, pre graded produce, factory cleanliness test, employee performance, task quality control etc. You can define the subject (thing) that you are testing as virtually anything
Each quality control test can be a pass/fail, or value range style test (ie: where results must be within the range of two numbers, or above or below a number), weighted score, or percent of sample
Automatically send quality control alerts to selected employees if a specific test fails or passes (a copy of the entire test results are sent with the email in a PDF)
Attach photos to the test (via your tablet, smartphone, or PC) and to the criteria for instruction
Quality tests can give users suggested “corrective actions” when there is a fresh produce quality failure.
Manually put produce on hold for further inspection
Each quality control program can be configured to have unlimited categories, each category can have unlimited tests (criteria)
Set the number of tests to make the entire test program fail
Set individual fresh produce quality tests to make an entire test program fail
Set the number of tests in a Category to make the entire test program fail
Configure unlimited “classes” and “features” that can be assigned to inventory
Users can click on images for close ups and open documents attached to the test criteria, this is used to ensure quality officers always have access to the correct documentation for their work. FarmSoft combines all fresh produce traceability processes into one business management solution, ensuring that the correct quality control, compliance, and operational tasks are performed at the correct time. This guarantees higher quality compliance and lower waste and non conformity issues.
Quality control – fruit quality control
Comprehensive and flexible quality control can be configured to cater for QMS, international standards, internal, and customer QC specifications. Quality control tests can use score weighting, value ranges, pass / fail, percentage of count/weight, quantity of criteria fail, quantity of category fail, quantity of all category fails, and more. Quality tests are standardized and ensure consistent testing and product quality. Quality tests can be performed on any ‘subject’ as defined by your configuration, such as raw produce, finished produce, incoming pallets, outgoing pallets, shipping container, and more. Quality alerts can be automatically sent to quality managers when specific tests fail or conditions are met. Perform quality control on a tablet, smartphone, PC or Mac.
Fresh produce inventory management – fruit quality control
From the deliver of fresh produce, storage, purchase orders for fresh produce, delivery receipts for fresh produce from external farms, inventory traceability, FIFO management, expiring inventory management, inventory ripening, mobile inventory management, inventory labeling, inventory stock takes, inventory reporting, pallet control and pallet management – FarmSoft has you covered!
Perform fresh produce recall up and down the supply chain – fruit quality control
FarmSoft allows recalls based on invoice, purchase order, customer reference, delivery date, delivery docket, sales order, and more. No more recording redundant data on multiple logs or spreadsheet. Instant recall makes audits easy and fast and reduces quality and standard compliance costs. You can also record multiple levels of traceability data, for example, your suppliers supplier can be documented, along with batch and lot codes for their produce. This data can make comprehensive product recalls rapid and instant. Multi-level traceability is not support by many competitor fresh produce solutions.
Fresh produce quality control is programmed to support your customers chosen quality standards, or configured to match your internal quality control program
Quality tests can be performed on fresh produce from suppliers to ensure supply consistency, Fruit in supermarkets today must be of high quality to provide adequate nutritional benefit and remain attractive to consumers. Fresh fruits must be shipped quickly and stored under proper conditions to retain their quality. Thus, regular fruit quality testing and gas analysis is necessary at several stages of the supply chain to ensure that fruits maintain their quality and freshness.
Fresh produce is a sensitive product category that requires fast shipping and proper storage. Any delay in your supply chain or a disruption in storage conditions can seriously impair your product’s quality. For a fresh produce supplier, it is equally important to check the condition of their inventory at departure from the farm or packaging facility and upon its arrival at the destination.
Easily attach photos (and any other documents) to your quality control tests to prove quality to both customers and suppliers.
2. Handling: Climacteric fruits are harvested when fully mature but still unripe and firm. But non-climacteric fruits are harvested when they are nearly ripe and soft. Both categories of fruits need careful handling when plucked, but it is necessary to be very careful with ripe fruits because they are soft and easily damaged. Even mature, non-ripe fruits handled roughly will bruise later, leading to more rapid decay. Bruising can also occur during transportation or packaging, affecting the fruit’s quality.
3. Weather conditions: Extreme or unfavorable weather conditions can affect fruit quality, especially in the absence of cold storage. High temperatures and low humidity can cause shriveling due to water content loss.
There’s a lot that a company can and should do to keep their products up to consistent standards, and keep them safe and reliable for consumers. There are even basic ones that every company should know and implement with all of their products. While this list does not cover everything a company should do to keep their products safe, it does lay a basic groundwork.
1. Ingredient Specifications
A final product can only be as good as the raw materials and ingredients put into it. Therefore, the best starting point is developing ingredient specifications. Make sure to review all information and modify the specifications as needs change. It’s also important to discuss and settle these specifications with the supplier. The ingredient specifications should be documented to maintain consistency. Ingredient specifications documentation should include at minimum: names of ingredients, vital product attributes, and important dates, but may require more information. This is all to assure that the supplier has not changed the materials or standards.
2. Approved Supplier List
For each ingredient, it’s a good idea to have an approved supplier list that is available to individuals responsible for purchasing and quality control. The approved supplier list should contain at least the following information: ingredient name and internal code; supplier name, address, phone number and other key contact info; trade name of ingredient; and supplier code number.
3. Product Formulation/Recipe
Every food product should have a written documentation of the formula or recipe and be available for use as a means to assure consistency between batches, lots, and even days of production. For highly confidential formulas, the production worker does not need all the details and a simplified recipe can be put in place to assure that the product information stays secret.
4. Product Standards
One of the most important tools to assure quality in a finished product is the product standard document. Product standards are defined by the physical, chemical and microbiological characteristics of the final product. Physical characteristics including size, shape, dimensions, weight, and volume are important, as are count per package or container, presence of fines, or any other special features which define the particular product.
Microbiological standards will depend on the specific food item. Food safety is the responsibility of the processor, so consider pathogens and foreign materials when developing product standards. Make sure rejection criteria for each product and acceptable methodology for determining these are established. Your base minimum rejection standards are based on regulatory requirements and practical production experience.
5. Manufacturing Procedures
There should be a documented method of the processing procedures to ease duplication from lot to lot, shift to shift and day to day. There are several key points to consider when identifying the important processing operations such as time, temperature, equipment required, order of addition for ingredients, and weight. After the product is prepared, make manufacturing procedures or portions of the procedures available to production employees.
4. Pest and diseases: Microbial and pest infestations will lead to yield loss or spoil the quality. Both pests and diseases can spread during storage to spoil batches of harvest. Rodents are also another problem during storage. Fruits damaged by pests can decay fast and pose health problems.
5. Internal changes: Fruits continue to respire, transpire, and ripen even after they are harvested and are accompanied by many biochemical changes that can negatively affect the quality of fruits. Loss of water content and ethylene production are two major causes. Due to improper storage or warm weather conditions, loss of water content leads to wilting, loss of color, firmness, texture, and taste. Ethylene, a gaseous phytohormone produced by fruits during ripening, can spread to other nearby batches triggering unplanned ripening and eventually leading to decay.
Fresh produce quality control for a rapidly changing fresh produce retail landscape, Fruits are highly perishable and susceptible to damage because of their high water content. From the time of harvest to when they appear on the shelf, fruits go through many different environments. The conditions in these different facilities and the handling mode influence the quality of fruits.
Farmsoft has over 19 years experience supporting and promoting the fresh produce industry, working with the entire value chain, from seed producers, grower to consumer, providing leadership on pan-produce issues. One of the key challenges in the industry has been in providing affordable solutions that easily interconnect growers to manufacturers and manufacturers to grocers so that a product can be easily tracked throughout the entire supply chain and not just within an individual company's' walls,” said Mike Fein, managing partner of Clarkston Consulting