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When’s Your CEM Day?

“When’s Your Dolmio Day?” This advertising slogan, created for the manufacturer Mars’s range of pasta products, now feels just a little compromised by the recent news that the food giant is going to introduce eating guidelines for this and similar brands. These guidelines are to help health conscious consumers distinguish between foods Mars categorises as suitable for ‘everyday’ consumption and those which should only be consumed ‘occasionally’.

The concern with so many of our processed foods now is over the fat, salt and sugar content of the products, particularly the ready-made sauces and meal kits. Of particular interest is the amount and type of fat that we consume and, to assist European shoppers, since December 2014, regulations have required food producers to show the monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fat, as well as cholesterol content, of their foods.

Fat, Sugar and Salt Levels in Processed Foods

When levels of fat, sugar or salt are deemed ‘high’ then ideally, Mars are suggesting that these products should only be consumed around ‘once-a-week’, as opposed to other ‘risk-free’ food choices. In an age where we are all more concerned about exactly what we eat, as well as its provenance, this can only be viewed as valuable information. Although it is something of a concern to find that any packaged product might have fat or salt levels that need warrant such advice.

Mars Food say the action is designed to help shoppers by giving them easier-to-understand nutritional information, which they will couple with a wider range of healthy choices. It is therefore vital that the information they provide is both accurate and precise, and it should also be cost-effective for the manufacturer to carry out the necessary tests to obtain the data from which they draw their conclusions.

Rapid Food Analysis with CEM

The Hybrid TRAC, an instrument designed and made by CEM, leading innovators in the application of microwave technology, is an elegant solution to the problem of measuring both fat and moisture levels in a wide range of foodstuffs, including sauces, powders and many dairy products. It is an instrument that really does answer a need for manufactures such as Mars, because of the variety of tests that in-house laboratories, as well as commercial companies have to now run.

These must ensure not just the correct product information, but food safety, correct formulation, and the certification of final products for governmental regulations, as well. For an industry such as food production, where time is of essence, it doesn’t pay for testing procedures to be long and labour intensive – bottlenecks mean spoilage and losses.

With their Hybrid TRAC, a next generation NMR system, and instruments such as the Sprint Protein Analyzer, which uses their patented iTag solution for direct protein analysis, CEM are helping revolutionise many traditional food and beverage testing procedures. The result is new rapid, accurate and efficient approaches to speed up all areas of food analysis, which is good news for all consumers, not just those looking to be healthier.

Conclusions

Mars Incorporated are committed to lowering the fat, salt and sugar levels in their savoury food and are bringing in a five-year global health initiative to address concerns, but in the meantime they are trying to raise awareness of the issue by differentiating between these ‘everyday’ and ‘occasional’ foodstuffs. CEM also have a commitment, to providing instruments for rapid and accurate food analysis to allow manufacturers to provide the information that shoppers require and health conscious consumers demand.

So, when is your Dolmio Day? Not very often would seem to be the answer at the moment, but always check the labelling. As for when your CEM day is, every day, if you work in the food and beverage industries, would seem to be a very good answer. 

Date added: 2016-05-20 23:39:49