As we all know, delivering quality starts at the source. To produce the best results, excellent ground materials are essential, but that is just the start. It is what happens next in the production and transport process that determines the quality of the end product.
Certifying raw materials
Anything can happen everywhere in the supply chain. The only way to guarantee quality from source to shelf is to closely monitor the entire product journey and actively invest in excellent working relations with suppliers and process partners.
Premium pet products require premium ingredients. Finding those ingredients is the easy part; the real challenge lies in maintaining their quality and integrity throughout the entire production chain. To begin with, you need to be assured of the quality of the raw materials you are working with. A certificate of analysis from origin should therefore accompany all deliveries. And since trust is good but control is better, additional testing and random analysis are strongly recommended.
With product-group-specific HACCP risk analyses, it is possible to detect and eliminate undesirable substances up front and make sure all test results comply with the strictest rules and legislation.
Conducting double checks on arrival is essential to determine the quality of ground materials from the start. But more importantly, thorough testing offers customers much-needed assurance. As product rancidity is one of their greatest concerns for animal proteins, the first test is a peroxide value (PV) analysis. Additional testing to measure moisture, fat, ash and protein percentages as well as chemical analyses helps to determine the product characteristics in detail.
The idea behind extensive testing and analysis – whether performed regularly, randomly or at the customer’s request – is to guarantee product quality and, if possible, to take it to a higher level. Only by sharing the test results and talking through all the details with raw material producers, is it possible to both secure and strengthen a competitive advantage.
Basis for further improvement
Quality control is not optional. To begin with, European and US law obliges food processing companies to conduct regular checks and yearly assessments. But even without regulation, companies have a vested interest in controlling the quality of their production processes and safeguarding the integrity of their supply partners. An annual quality evaluation, in which supplier performance, HACCP monitoring and sample plan results are reviewed, is critical to long-term success.
The outcome of the evaluation together with market alerts (RASFF) and insights into the product’s history creates a solid basis for further improvement. If you know precisely what is failing, or if you can pinpoint the source of any undesirable substances, you can take specific action and work towards a better end result.
Sharing findings and insights
At IQI, testing is in our DNA. We go to great lengths to guarantee the quality of our premium pet food ingredients, meticulously monitoring all stages in our supply chains. Although all our efforts are summed up in the IQI Quality Passport – a product-specific document that offers unrestricted insight into the production and transportation process – we have not yet mentioned our most important practice.
As a trader, we rely on our producers to provide us with premium ground products. Our business is all about collaboration, which is why maintaining excellent working relations is vital to our success. By sharing our findings and insights with the people at the source, we provide them with information that could help them improve their products. And that means we can improve ours. The more quality you put in, the more quality you get out.
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