Food Processing Industry


CIFT provides the following services for food processors:

Food_processingFood Safety Consulting

CIFT's expert network of food scientists offers a full range of food safety services to food processors through microbiological consulting and testing, food safety auditing, and food safety and quality training.  We also help processors develop food product handling practices and procedures, including worker hygiene and sanitation practices.

A food safety hotline was established at Ohio State University nearly 15 years ago as an industry tool for small businesses, growers and food producers.  Thanks to a partnership with Kroger, Ohio State and CIFT, this industry service was expanded to improve food safety awareness among Ohio consumers.  Learn more about this great success story.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists recalls, withdrawals and alerts on their website, which includes the most significant product actions of the last 60 days, based on the extent of distribution and the degree of health risk.  Learn more about the latest FDA food recall notices.

Northwest Ohio MEP

The Northwest Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is an effort that combines resources from four entities located at offices in Findlay, Archbold, Lima, and Toledo, Ohio.

Northwest_Ohio_MEP_logo2The Northwest Ohio MEP offices serve as partners in delivering valuable services to manufacturers across Ohio.  Plus, staff has resources available beyond northwest Ohio through other Ohio MEP partners.  Click here to learn more. 

Cost-Effective Training Solution

Alchemy is the global leader in food and workplace safety training for production workers.  More than 1,400 large food manufacturing and processing facilities worldwide use the SISTEM® training platform to increase productivity, reduce food safety incidents, and lower compliance risk.

CIFT is proud to introduce Alchemy’s SISTEM Express, a cost-effective solution designed specifically for small- and medium-sized food manufacturers.  SISTEM will help achieve compliance with industry regulations/standards, such as the Food Safety Modernization Act and the Global Food Safety Initiative, using fewer resources and in less time.  Each 15-20 minute course captures the participant’s attention with an engaging video followed by learning objectives and multiple-choice questions.  If a question is answered incorrectly, SISTEM reiterates the learning objective and alters the question to ensure comprehension before continuing.  Courses conclude with a video and fun game to recap important information.

SISTEM tracks, documents, and reports training activities in a secure, web-based application.  A variety of training status reports can be generated for your audits that meet federal e-signature requirements, no sign-in sheets required.

Top Benefits
•    Accelerate new hire orientation and refresher trainings
•    Validate employee attendance and comprehension
•    Eliminate labor intensive data entry
•    Decrease third-party audit preparation time
•    Minimize downtime and loss of productivity
•    Protect against worker compensation claims
•    Reduce legal liabilities associated with product quality

More than 115 courses in eight Core Areas!
•    Food Safety
•    Workplace Safety
•    Human Resources Training
•    Customer Service Training
•    Animal Welfare
•    Life Skills Training
•    Supervisor Training
•    Food Service

The cost is only $200/employee - includes as many courses as desired for one year.  Contact Alan Bernard, project manager, CIFT at 419-535-6000, ext. 107 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Market Research

CIFT has access to a continuously updated collection of market research information with more than 300,000 reports from 700 leading global publishers.  With this tool, assistance can be offered to Ohio food companies on new product trends, the latest in packaging, emerging ethnic foods, or competitive analysis of new or existing markets.  Such information is critical to maintaining a competitive edge in new and established markets. 

Through this service, general reports associated with trends to specific IRI data and industry analysis on a product category can be achieved.  CIFT member companies have access to such information as a compliment to inclusion within the consortium.  Companies not yet affiliated with the membership are able to gain access for a fee.  Examples of reports include the following: 

  • Food Flavors and Ingredients Outlook 2012, 9th Edition; Packaged Facts
  • U.S. Market for Nutraceuticals Ingredients; Taiyou Research 
  • Food Industry Review 2010; The Food Institute
  • Snack Food in the U.S. 2011 Edition; Beverage Marketing 

Specific information requests can be submitted to CIFT for review and consideration of market analysis.  Contact Susan Cordonnier, project manager, at 419-535-6000, ext. 102 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Product and Package Development

New and emerging technologies in the areas of food processing, preservation and packaging are widespread.  CIFT's network of food scientists and business advisors work with industry and academia to bring innovations to the marketplace, helping food processors optimize their operations.

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Technology Development & Prototyping

CIFT collaborates with a variety of food equipment manufacturers to develop prototype equipment for evaluation and commercialization. By tapping into available resources, food based companies can benefit from new equipment applications and technologies and, ultimately, enhance their competitiveness within the marketplace.

Based in Dublin, Ohio, Vitality Distributing, Inc. is the name behind a product called Avitae (ah-vee-tay) energy water.  With just 45 mg of natural caffeine and purified water, Avitae's potential market demographic (men and women 20-50 years old) held great promise.  In 2007, Vitality Distributing CEO Brian Pitzer followed through with the business concept and plan for a business behind the water product.  However, the company had no experience in the food or beverage industry.  Learn how CIFT helped launch this product from concept to reality through research and development services.

Engineering Assistance

Extending your team of engineers when the need arises, CIFT provides engineering assistance to food equipment companies on a project-by-project basis.

Functional Foods

CIFT and the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) announced award recipients of the Functional Food and Ingredient Development (FFID) fund.  Functional foods are foods and food components that provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition.  The following recipients share in a $125,000 fund to support the development and commercialization of innovative Ohio products, and to enhance the economic performance of the agri-food sector: 050311_GreenTea


•    AlgiSys – for partnering with 3i to develop a liposome nano-encapsulation of omega-3 algae oil for food and beverage applications.

•    American Dairy Association (Mideast) – for creating a more nutritious probiotic yogurt.
•    Around the World Gourmet – for developing a double functional gluten-free, casein-free bread for those with a special diet.
•    Ohio State University – for developing a prebiotic chocolate bar which reduces the absorption rate of cholesterol, and increases absorption rates of calcium and other beneficial substances.
•    Sensus – for partnering with Wyandot, Inc. (a snack manufacturer in Marion, OH) to develop a high-antioxidant/high-anthocyanin, nutritious purple corn snack food for the benefit of Ohio farmers, processors and consumers.

“The Ohio Department of Development technology division embraces new techniques and development efforts – and the Center for Innovative Food Technology exemplifies this through food and agricultural efforts,” John Griffin, director of technology division, ODOD, said.  “It is an honor to present these five companies with assistance to carry their concepts forward and enhance the food industry in Ohio, as well as provide consumers with nutritious products.”

To learn more about proposals for this year's award, contact Stephanie Smith, Ph.D., food scientist, CIFT, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Technology Commercialization

CIFT leads the way in the commercialization of several newly patented technologies.  Our equipment partners play a critical role in the commercialization process by exploring, designing, building and helping to market the novel equipment.  As a result, equipment manufacturers develop new relationships and generate additional business revenue.

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Technology Transfer

Utilizing a network of university researchers, government agencies, and industry suppliers, CIFT actively pursues research opportunities with an emphasis on potential commercial interest.  Many of these applications involve connecting equipment manufacturers to develop pilot plant equipment with the ultimate goal of product and process commercialization.



Waste Reduction & Remediation

CIFT's staff of engineers specializes in identifying Pollution Prevention (P2) initiatives that have a positive impact on bottom line financials. CIFT helps reduce the adverse impacts of wastewater and manage process wastes and by-products, including reducing the impact of wastewater discharge through innovative treatment and/or reuse of process water. Our expertise includes environmental regulatory compliance that relates to wastewater discharge, air emissions, storm water, pollution prevention plans, and spill prevention control plans.

Energy Efficiency Consulting

Energy usage and efficiency is a priority issue for greenhouse operators. CIFT’s staff of engineers performs energy use assessments to identify energy efficiency and cost savings opportunities through implementation of energy efficient equipment, controls and processes. An Energy Usage and Cost Analysis includes power rate structures, tariff analysis, as well as electrical usage and demand trend analysis. Feasibility, program development and implementation recommendations are essential in successful energy efficiency improvements.