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Bite Sized Insights for Food Industry Professionals

Alchemy's Blog The Feed

Don't Let Milling Challenges Grind You Down

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Dec 13 2017
Dec 13 2017

Food manufacturing can be a grind… especially in milling. Yet recent wins in the industry make it all worth it. Consumers are snack-happy, so demand for savory treats, sweets, and baked goods is on the rise. Alternative flours are also ubiquitous. Thanks to the gluten-free craze, nut flours and non-traditional flours like sorghum and spelt are working their way into foods worldwide. And we can finally kiss the low-carb craze goodbye. These days, whole grains are considered essential to a healthy diet, including rice and corn, with more emphasis on nutrition rather than elimination. With the new nutritional focus comes the opportunity to add fortifications to flours and grains, which proves successful in differentiation, as well as in marketing.

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Topics: Food Safety, Workplace Safety, FSMA, Allergens, Milling industry

10 Training Tips to Lay a Foundation for Employee Success

Posted by Holly Mockus

Dec 11 2017
Dec 11 2017

An effective food industry training program is the cornerstone of a high performing food production or manufacturing facility. Providing the basic knowledge and reinforcing concepts for frontline workers are just two critically important facets of a well-thought-out training system. Here are ten ideas to round out an integrated training program and fully engage your workforce:

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Topics: Food Safety, Workplace Safety

Putting a Lid on Beverage Industry Concerns

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Dec 6 2017
Dec 6 2017

Some interesting news is brewing in the beverage industry. It’s hip to be healthy, and beverage companies are rushing to add nutrition-forward options to their portfolios. Whether it’s adding value to bottled water through sparkle, flavor, or “enhancements," creating old favorites with organic ingredients, offering smaller portions, or jumping on the energy drink bandwagon — all while reducing added sugar, of course — it’s clear good health has a hold on the market.

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Topics: FSMA, Beverage industry

Ergonomics: What Works When it Comes to Workplace Safety

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Nov 29 2017
Nov 29 2017

Workplace injuries are common in manufacturing jobs that depend on manual labor, and they cost the food industry billions of dollars each year. Risk factors of workplace injury include exerting excessive force, performing the same tasks repetitively, and working in awkward postures — all conditions present on the floor in food manufacturing. Damage can range in scope, from minor sprains and strains, to more serious musculo-skeletal disorders (MSDs) like tendinitis or sciatica. 

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Topics: Workplace Safety, Ergonomics

Packaging is Part of Food Safety, Too

Posted by Holly Mockus

Nov 17 2017
Nov 17 2017

It may not be edible, but packaging has a major impact on keeping food safe and displaying to customers the care with which your product is produced. Comprehensive food safety training is just as important for employees in the packaging industry as it is for those in food manufacturing facilities.

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Topics: Food Safety

Safety is Always in Season for Crop Production

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Nov 10 2017
Nov 10 2017

With foreign markets expanding, unpredictable weather patterns, and rising regulations, finding innovative ways to succeed in agriculture is more important than ever. With science of crop production becoming more sophisticated, farmers have more access to data, where they used to rely more heavily on history and intuition.

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Topics: OSHA, Crop production

Exploring the Value of Quality Management System Training: Q&A with Industry Experts

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Nov 6 2017
Nov 6 2017

While food safety is paramount, it alone will not ensure continued sales and overall business success. The new SQF Quality Code, developed by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) includes system elements defined in the various SQF Food Safety Codes. LeAnn Chuboff, Vice President of Technical Affairs at SQFI and Bill McBride, SQFI Regional Representative, explain the value of educating food safety professionals to ensure consistent quality standards.

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Topics: SQF Quality Code

Alchemy Earns Top Workplace Honor 4th Year in a Row

Posted by Wes Burke

Nov 5 2017
Nov 5 2017

We’re excited to announce that Alchemy has won a spot on the highly coveted Austin American-Statesman Top Workplaces list for the fourth year in a row! The Statesman chooses the best places to work in Austin based on data from anonymous surveys sent to current employees at eligible companies. With 140 Alchemists at our Austin headquarters (and 300 total across U.S. and Canada), Alchemy competed in the medium-sized company category.

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Topics: Austin Headquarters, Awards

Unpacking Potential Problems: Are Packaging Employees Prepared?

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Nov 3 2017
Nov 3 2017

The packaging industry faces unique safety and operational challenges. Between the threat of physical injury, safety hazards, sanitation issues, and expanding regulations, your frontline employees have a lot to manage. Addressing these concerns while maintaining high production levels will continue to test package manufacturing companies.

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Topics: Food Safety, Workplace Safety, Packaging

Are You Ready for the Next Big Storm?

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Oct 27 2017
Oct 27 2017

With the Gulf Coast still feeling the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the overall damage to the U.S. food supply has yet to be determined. Hurricane Katrina was an epic catastrophe for the food supply. Case in point: North America’s oldest cold storage company, based in New Orleans, lost power for weeks and was later declared a toxic waste site

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Topics: Food Safety, Operations, Supply Chain, FDA, USDA

Strengths and Opportunities for Bakery and Snacks

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Oct 20 2017
Oct 20 2017

Things are looking pretty sweet in Bakery and Snacks. Bread is back, and the sandwich is enjoying a bit of a renaissance in all its glorious forms: burgers, bahn mis, tortas, gyros. Enriched and sprouted grains are also on the rise, ensuring the low-carb craze has finally cooled off.

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Topics: FSMA, Bakery and Snacks, Allergens

3 Ways to Make Your Safety Training Stick

Posted by Holly Mockus

Oct 18 2017
Oct 18 2017

Research suggests that the average human attention span has shrunk to an astonishing 8.3 seconds,1 and people forget 90% of newly learned information within one week.2 Perhaps not surprisingly, 62% of food industry employees aren’t adhering to their food or workplace safety programs on the floor,3 which raises a big red flag because it increases the likelihood of safety incidents occurring. So how can we overcome this tendency to forget and boost employee knowledge retention to support correct and safe behaviors on the floor?

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Topics: Food Safety, Workplace Safety

Refrigerated and Frozen Foods: Staying Cool, Calm, and Compliant

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Oct 17 2017
Oct 17 2017

There’s a lot of cool things happening in refrigerated and frozen foods. Consumers are enjoying more diversified breakfasts and snacks, which means more options for frozen foods. 

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Topics: SQF Code, FSMA, Refrigerated and Frozen Foods, AFFI

5 Resources to Meet Protein Processing Challenges

Posted by Siobhan Welch

Oct 6 2017
Oct 6 2017

Protein processing may face more challenges than any other food sector. Meat and poultry account for the largest segment of U.S. agriculture, according to NAMI. With more pressures on the meat industry, it can feel like a juggling act keeping up with competing interests – animal welfare, dangerous micro-organisms, sustainability, and safety – while still meeting production goals. While it may present a challenge, it’s not impossible.

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Topics: Food Safety, OSHA, HACCP, Protein, NAMI

Top Ten Takeaways from Alchemy Engage 2017

Posted by Robyn Goddard

Oct 5 2017
Oct 5 2017

We had such good time this year at our Alchemy Engage conference! For three days, over 400 food manufacturing professionals and leaders met at the Hyatt Regency in sunny Austin, Texas, to talk  about engaging workers to achieve company safety quality, and productivity goals. CEO Jeff Eastman kicked off Engage with our three big conference goals: to share best practices, network with peers, and learn new technologies.

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Topics: Alchemy Conference