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allergen control in the food industry

Allergens in Food Manufacturing

Matrix Controls is delighted to announce the latest V5 innovation to address the FDA Allergen Control Program requirements – the V5 Traceability ‘Allergen Management Software’. Available as standard on Professional and Enterprise versions, the Allergen Control System enhancement is designed to provide a software-based Allergen Management Program designed to meet you’re the FDA Food Allergen Control requirements without handwritten records / paper-based systems. Allergen Sequencing Software is available in V5 version 5.7 and above. Read on to discover how Allergens in Food Manufacturing can be safely handled without paper!

The premise of the Allergen Management Software is simple. Using shop floor software screens and advanced allergen labeling, Operators at warned at every touchpoint that they are about to handle Allergens and then present the best way to control them. In turn, V5 Traceability records who, what, where, and when the Allergens were handled.

V5 Traceability will ensure Allergen labeling is automated (from the receiving stages, batching processes, and finished product creation). It will ensure the Allergen Management Program is visible using operator screens. It will guarantee operator confirmation (Pin code or SSO) at every handling stage. Moreso – each Allergen Control Measure is logged in a database for immediate retrieval in the event that an issue arises requiring immediate investigation.

Allergen Management Software Concept

First, you must setup your Allergens Control System in V5 and link your associated commodities. Commodities can belong to multiple allergen groups.

Allergens in Food Manufacturing | Allergen Management Software | FDA Allergen Control Program | Allergen Sequencing Software

The main Allergens are already preloaded ( Milk, Eggs, Fish, Crustacean Shellfish, Tree Nuts, Peanuts, Wheat and Soy) but you can add more and built your commodity associations. Allergens in Food Manufacturing can all be handles though this association mechanism.

Allergen Labeling Setup

All System generated labels have the necessary data fields to meet the Allergen Control Plan. Lots of label choices exist but in principle, labels are generated to identify incoming inventory, batch production, any WIP or submix assemblies and finished products.

Warehousing Allergens

V5 Traceability will detect at the point of receiving that a PO contains a commodity that belongs to one of the Allergen Groups. The Software will automatically;

1) Warn the Operator that they are about to handle an Allergen (requiring a confirmation that they have seen the message that they are handling Allergens).

2) Generate a label (pallet or item level) that contains the Allergen Group(s)

3) Guide the operator to a put-away location (using the predefined warehouse setup) that allows the Allergen. The system will ensure Allergen control measures are enforced to meet the Allergen Management Policy. I.e. Allergens belonging to different groups cannot be stored on top of one another.

Allergens in Food Manufacturing | Allergen Management Software | FDA Allergen Control Program | Allergen Sequencing Software

This prevents cross-contamination of Allergens. The Allergen Control Measures apply to the finished goods too, enabling an Allergen Management Policy that spans the whole warehousing operation. Allergens in Food Manufacturing can now safely be controlled from the warehouse onwards.

Scheduling Production and Allergen Sequencing

The purpose of Allergen Sequencing is to optimize the production schedule to minimize the number of clean downs required for product changeover. V5 traceability allows the user to create a production run that establishes formulations containing ingredients marked as Allergens. The software then schedules them using the Allergen Pyramid method within the Allergen Control Plan routine.

In this example, the Allergen Sequencing software would look to see the most common Allergens – in this case, Wheat. Then schedule the jobs so that the Allergen complexity grows without cross-contamination prior to the cleardown. It will attempt to prioritize the largest run first.

The result will appear as:


Formula A – Wheat

Formula D – Wheat, Egg

Formula C – Wheat, Egg, Nuts


Formula B – Nuts

Formula D – Nuts, Egg

Benefits of the Allergen Control System include a) fewer clean downs b) reduced risk of cross-contamination c) optimized production output. Allergen Sequencing Software ensures tight control and risk mitigation.

Batch Production

At the production floor level, production operators will be in automatic compliance with the Allergen Control Policy. They will be able to view the schedule on the V5 Formula Control System terminal without having to think about the sequence of clean downs and the priority of jobs. The system will remove the guesswork and ensure Allergen Control Measures are correctly adhered to.

The Formula Control System will organize the operators, then prompt them for each of the ingredients in the formulation ensuring tolerances are met and correct quantities are added. Any Allergens that require warnings will be displayed on screen and require operator confirmation.

Allergen Management Program

FSMA requires controls to prevent Allergens in Food Manufacturing process causing cross-contact. Incorrect allergen content declaration, a potentially life-threatening situation, remains the primary reason for recalls in the USA and Canada. An effective allergen cross-contact prevention program requires a multi-disciplinary approach during development and implementation, and ongoing validation of the effectiveness of the practices. Employees must understand and follow the controls, then leverage V5 Traceability Software to capture and record their activities automatically.

Tags – Allergens in Food Manufacturing | Allergen Management Software | FDA Allergen Control Program | Allergen Sequencing Software

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