There are numerous methods for suppliers and users alike to create, acquire and manufacture ingredients, substances and components. Each food ingredient or additive must be scrutinized carefully by the end user to understand legal status, regulatory limits and requirements. Certain ingredients enjoy broad usage applications and quantities, while others are limited, monitored and controlled. Of particular concern are ingredients which share both food and non food applications or applications within the food industry. It is the shared responsibility of supplier and customer to clearly identify the characteristics, “grade”, suitability criteria, item number and other identifying and limiting criteria in order to avoid the risk of ingredient regulatory non-compliance.\
Each ingredient must be composed of or refined from products, materials, components and substances which comply with regulations and insure that it meets quality and safety standards. Not every ingredient or intermediate component is linked to a food-use standard of identity or quality profile. Depending upon the ingredient, additive and intended use, each ingredient needs to go through a unique and sometimes comprehensive assessment for composition, purity, characteristics, processing methods, mandatory testing and, at times, sensory evaluation. Risk profiles can involve microbiological, chemical or physical safety and suitability. Since the end-user is the only entity in the food supply chain that can know and react to all “touch points”, the responsibility for risk assessment and control is squarely on the shoulders of that end user. Manufacturers can shroud themselves with the false belief that their suppliers are responsible for and in control of ingredients safety, suitability and risk, but experience demonstrates time after time that end-user knowledge, oversight and control of ingredients is the best defense against calamity.
EHA food safety experts review the nature and use of each client ingredient, purchased or sold, to ensure that procurement, handling, manufacturing and testing protocols are matched with the ingredient to assure complete, situational quality and safety.