Since 1923, the Hirzel Canning Company and Farms has created high-quality, well-known food products like their Dei Fratelli and Silver Fleece brands that include several canned tomato products, pasta sauces, salsas, juices, sauerkraut and more.

Their sauerkraut, originally the company’s first product which was packaged and sold in wooden kegs and barrels, has seen growth and the fourth generation of the company wanted to meet the demand of their customers.

That’s where the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) came in.

Hirzel Canning Co., a CIFT member, aimed to increase their production capabilities. CIFT partnered the company with another member, Richter International – a private contract research and consulting laboratory organization – to complete a process authority review and analysis. A process authority review is an important component of food production which includes a review of product ingredients and formulation, processing specifics, critical control points (pH, water activity, etc.), primary packaging, storage, and/or distribution.

This helps to ensure the safety and stability of food products entering the retail market.

As a result of the process authority review, Hirzel Canning Co. expects an increase of more than $225,000 in sales.

“The numerous projects Hirzel has collaborated with CIFT have enabled us to streamline our processes and realize significant cost savings as a result,” stated Bill Hirzel, director, research and development, Hirzel Canning Co. “Additionally, CIFT has provided us with extensive technical support as well as many networking
opportunities with other food processing companies in our industry.”

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.

CIFT can also help processors develop food product handling practices and procedures, including worker hygiene and sanitation practices.