Plant-to-Plate planning for Food and Beverage productivity and safety

Electrification innovation has enabled faster and safer ways to prepare, preserve and package what we eat and drink.

While food and water have always been essential human needs, methods to safely produce food and beverages have evolved over centuries. The last few years have shined a light not only on food safety and supply shifts, but the ability of food and beverage processors to be agile in scaling production and adapting to consumer needs and preferences.

Modernizing and maintaining food safety

Even in ancient times, both primary and secondary processing were used to convert produce and ingredients into safe, palatable foods and to extend shelf life.

Today, Food & Beverage processing relies on electrical solutions that support continuous operations and safety. In a dynamic and constantly changing environment, food and beverage companies are focusing on automation, flexibility, quality and safety.

Food and beverage processing are critical elements of the food supply chain and every facility is responsible for food safety and standards. From raw ingredients and storage to processing and packaging, every aspect is subject to regulations and requirements that help ensure the products are safe for consumers. Processors have a Food Safety Plan that is continuously evaluated and updated.

Planning from plant-to-plate

Food Safety Plans are about putting systems in place to identify hazards and using control measures to mitigate risk and help prevent anything from happening that can harm the consumer. These plans include comprehensive record keeping and documentation that spans identification processes, prevention controls, monitoring procedures, corrective actions, recall plans, a written supply chain program and verification procedures. 

Food safety planning requires a holistic approach. All of the following need to be considered when creating a comprehensive Food Safety Plan:

  • Food safety policies and compliance
  • Physical infrastructure
  • Testing
  • Education and training
  • Traceability
  • Cost-containment
  • Supply chain management
  • Automation
  • Data
  • Systems
  • Packaging
  • Purchasing
  • Security

In addition to protection and prevention, ood and beverage processors are focused on productivity and flexibility to adapt to shifts in production and customer preferences. Increasingly, plans extend beyond policies and procedures to encompass advances in automation, digitization and electrification that can help F&B companies dfrive analytics, comply with new requirements and boost productivity. Innovation in system design and materials are important considerations. Sustainability is another area of focused planning for food and beverage producers, including developing and driving processes to increase energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint. 

The ABB team works with food and beverage partners to assess critical issues in every area of their operation and planning needs including:

  • Ingress protection ratings – IP69 and NEMA4X
  • Material selection – food compliant, smooth, non-absorbent
  • Corrosion protection
  • Accessibility for cleaning and maintenance
  • Cleanable to 360-degree
  • Design features to improve food safety 
  • Smooth and continuous welds
  • Eliminate horizontal catches
  • Laser etching – remove stickers and eliminate raised or recessed letters
  • NSF
  • All systems are hygiene compatibility with other systems in the facility

Through the ages and still today….

Food and beverage processors are challenged to quickly and consistently produce high quality products that taste great and have a shelf life for people to safely enjoy. At the same time, they are focused on implementing comprehensive food safety plans and safe, smart and sustainable and practices.  

Although food and beverage processing and safety have come a long way since ancient times, materials and methods continue to advance. As the F&B sector seeks to modernize, become a data rich and automated environment, produce innovative products and improve uptime, plans need to be holistic and maintain the highest levels of quality and safety. Whether it’s how a component will hold up to caustic cleaning chemicals, ensuring detectability in foods and liquids, protecting against corrosion, or enabling equipment to be offset to support clean-in-place sanitation processes, learn how ABB Installation Products is helping food and beverage processors boost productivity and operate safely at

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About the author

Brian D. Barr

Brian D. Barr leads the Food & Beverage Technology segment of ABB Installation Products, part of ABB’s Electrification business area. He has more than 22 years of experience in the Food & Beverage industry, spanning global market development, food service, quality, electrical design and technology. Brian and the ABB Electrification team work with partners across the Food & Beverage processing spectrum to deliver solutions that enhance operational efficiency, flexibility, quality, productivity and safety.
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