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The production process of Feed. powders
Launching a new product on the market is not as easy as it may seem. There are quite a few steps between the product’s conception and its arrival in the store.
In the following article, we take you through the full process of making our powders, from the initial idea up to its production in the factory.
Step 1: The Idea
1. The brief
It goes without saying that you, our consumers, are our greatest source of inspiration. That’s why we frequently ask you which product or recipe you would like us to create in order to expand our range. From this point onwards, we can get the ball rolling.
As soon as an idea is given the green light, we turn to our producers.
Our dietician and our head of R&D (research and development) will then present the new concept or recipe (desired taste, texture, nutritional characteristics, key ingredients) to our suppliers’ food engineers, with whom they closely collaborate to develop the new product.
2. Sensory analysis
The supplier will present a first version of the innovation. We will then carry out an internal sensory analysis tasting session with at least a few consumers to assess the taste, texture, smell, etc.
These sessions enable us to develop, enhance and improve the new recipes in order to reach the best possible results.
There can be anywhere between ten and thirty different recipes from the first to the last version.
3. Use tests
Only when we are satisfied both in terms of taste and nutrition do we organise an industrial trial.
We launch the production of approximately a hundred products in their final portion sizes in order to test the innovation in real conditions: transport, mixing processes, satiety levels etc.
These use tests ultimately approve the recipe. Meanwhile, the communications team put in place a communications strategy to accompany the product launch, and the graphic design team will get started on visual designs and packaging.
Our supplier can then order the primary materials in larger quantities for production.
Step 2: Production
The factory is divided into various sections which all play a role in the fabrication process of our powders.
1. The warehouse
The warehouse is where we receive and stock the primary materials.
These are mostly classified according to the allergy they contain, i.e. gluten, lactose, etc. This avoids cross-contamination during storage periods.
All of our primary materials come from clean, high-quality and rigorously controlled sources, in order to be able to meet the demanding criteria Feed. has set: vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free and non-GMO.
Our biggest obstacle has been to source certified gluten-free oats which were also exempt of any cross-contamination with other grains, which is often the case during transportation for example. For this reason, we only work with meticulous suppliers and control the organoleptic and sanitary quality of our primary materials upon reception.
2. Weighing the ingredients
After having chosen the primary materials necessary for the production of a certain quantity of the final product, each ingredient is weighed in order to respect the recipe card and to achieve the given nutritional values.
3. The mixing process
In order to obtain the final product, all the primary materials are mixed together in a blender.
The Feed. production lines are absolutely gluten-free, i.e. no primary materials containing gluten will be processed through these channels. Moreover, they also have a special disinfection/decontamination system which avoids any risk of cross-contamination.
The mixing process lasts approximately 20 minutes. Following this procedure, our suppliers’ team will taste the mixture, in order to ensure that it is similar to the previous batch. If this is not the case, the mixture is altered.
After being approved in terms of taste, it goes through a sieve in order to guarantee the absence of foreign objects. It is then put into single use bags that weigh several kilos before being sifted into smaller sachets.
We obtain our fruits and vegetables through lyophilisation. This technique enables us to preserve the ingredients’ nutritional properties. These small fruit and vegetable pieces bring consistency to our products, which is always appreciated by our consumers.
4. Quality control
The final mixture is then controlled. Our products systematically go through quality control processes, which come down to microbiological analyses. Moreover, we undertake supplementary tests in order to certify the absence of gluten and lactose in our products. The objective of these tests is to guarantee the absence of any cross-contamination risks or of any pathogens.
How does this take place?
We take some powder from the surface of the large single use bags as well as from various different places deeper within the bag in order to be able to randomly control the largest possible area.
There is a one week waiting time for the results of these randomised tests. We always wait for these results, which must be negative, in order to proceed to the final stage.
5. The packaging
According to the different types of orders that we send through to our suppliers, our powder is packaged into sachets of 5, 15 or 20 meals.
We work in close collaboration with all of our suppliers in order to guarantee high-quality products.
The implementation of numerous high-quality processes enable us to meet the very strict requirements that Feed. has set: vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free and non-GMO.
At Feed., according to the nature and difficulty of a new recipe, launching a new product or concept can take between 3 to 6 months.