The NISSIN FOODS Group has put in place a dual quality management system consisting of quality control at the production plants and inspection and analysis of raw and packaging materials and products at the NISSIN Global Food Safety Institute (“the Institute”).
The Institute analyzes raw and packaging materials for harmful substances, radioactive substances, and genetically modified agricultural products. For finished products, it conducts inspections to confirm nutrient components and the presence or absence of allergen contamination. In addition, the Institute conducts quality surveys at each stage, from raw materials to processing and production, and performs scientific testing of foreign matter, off-flavors, and off-odors reported by customers using the VOICE system.
To ensure product safety, the Institute conducts audits of product manufacturing plants and raw and packaging materials plants based on NISFOS (Nissin’s Inspection Standards for Food Safety) and works to resolve any issues detected in plant audits by offering improvement proposals.
We are constructing the same quality control system used at the plants in Japan at the plants of all overseas Group companies. In fiscal 2018, we expanded the scope of allergen testing to cover not only domestically manufactured products, but also all products manufactured by overseas Group companies, and put in place a system for checking products for the presence or absence of allergens subject to labeling requirements overseas.
Acquisition of Third-party Certification
The NISSIN FOODS Group continues to strengthen its production-related risk avoidance and quality enhancement efforts at plants and business sites, which is exemplified by holding such standards as the ISO 9001 international standard for quality management systems and the HACCP*1 food sanitation management system. In addition to ongoing efforts to acquire the ISO 22000 international standard for food safety management systems at all Group production sites, NISSIN FOODS Group is acquiring certification under FSSC 22000*2, an international standard added to ISO 22000 that addresses food defense (initiatives to prevent the deliberate contamination of food products with foreign matter). In fiscal 2018, five more plants obtained FSSC 22000 certification, bringing the total number of certified plants and business sites to 19 in Japan and two overseas. Also, five overseas plants newly obtained ISO 22000 certification, bringing the total number of certified plants to 15 plants.
- *1HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point)
- *2FSSC 22000 is a benchmark recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) that integrates the ISO 22000 international standard for food safety management systems, ISO/TS 22002-1 (food manufacturing).
Activities to Enhance Quality Testing Proficiency at the Institute
The Institute holds certification for ISO/IEC 17025, the international standard for general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration of laboratories. Furthermore, to enhance the quality testing proficiency of plant personnel at the Group’s domestic and overseas plants, the Institute evaluates the food analysis-related testing proficiency of all quality control staff members of the plants. Similarly, the Institute administers a microbiological testing proficiency evaluation examination twice a year and began administering an allergen testing proficiency evaluation examination in fiscal 2018.
Strengthening of the Quality Assurance System in China
Since 2006, the FOOD SAFETY EVALUATION & RESEARCH INSTITUTE CO., LTD. in Shanghai (the “Shanghai Institute”) has performed quality assurance for product raw materials for use in China and raw and packaging materials for use in Japan utilizing the same analysis procedures as the Institute in Japan. In fiscal 2018, it introduced new analysis methods: for instance, methods developed at the Institute for simultaneous analysis of preservatives and for near-infrared spectroscopic analysis of fats and oils. Also, Shanghai Institute staff members periodically visit manufacturing plants across China to examine the manufacturing processes for raw and packaging materials.
Analysis and Inspection of Raw Materials
The Institute analyzes raw materials for agricultural chemicals, veterinary drugs, and heavy metals. When no analysis methods exist, it independently develops analysis methods and equipment and utilizes them in quality assurance. In fiscal 2018, it developed a system capable of simultaneously testing for eight types of nuts subject to allergen labeling overseas (patent pending) and introduced simultaneous analysis using near-infrared spectroscopy to confirm the nutrient components in instant noodles, reducing the time required for analysis from 150 hours per month to about 24 hours.
|Inspection for food poisoning bacteria||Inspection based on genetic information for bacteria that cause food poisoning|
|Nissin’s Analytical Systems for Residual Agricultural Chemicals (NASRAC) and Nissin’s Analytical Systems for Veterinary Drugs (NASVED)||Analysis of 545 residual agricultural chemicals and 200 veterinary drugs|
|Nissin’s Evaluation Systems for Mammalian Genotoxicity (NESMAGET), a system for testing for genotoxic carcinogens||Testing method that uses human cells to evaluate carcinogenic DNA damage|
|Nissin’s Evaluation System for Tumor-Promoting Activity (NESTUP), a system for testing for carcinogenesis promoters||Testing method that uses cells to detect carcinogenesis promoters (tumor promoters)|
|Inspection for allergens||Simultaneous testing for eight nut allergens|
Quality Control of Raw and Packaging Materials
The quality group, which specializes in quality control and is a part of the NISSIN FOODS HOLDINGS Resourcing Division, conducts supplier inspections using the Raw and Packaging Materials Manufacturing Plant Checklist. The list covers a total of 32 items relating to laws and ordinances, facilities, raw and packaging materials and water, manufacturing processes, product inspection, hygiene management, and other quality-related matters, and it provides guidance for improvement of raw and packaging materials suppliers’ and contract manufacturers’ factories, to strengthen the quality control of procured raw and packaging materials. In fiscal 2018, the Institute conducted on-site inspections of approximately 100 companies. It shares the inspection checklist with the Group’s overseas operating companies for use by their inspectors in on-site plant inspections.
Information Sharing for Quality Improvement of Raw and Packaging Materials
To improve materials quality, beginning in fiscal 2018 a quality group in the NISSIN FOODS HOLDINGS Resourcing Division has begun holding quality training workshops twice a year for quality control managers and sales representatives of resource manufacturers in Japan. At the workshops, it shares case examples of problems that have occurred as well as improvement and prevention measures. In addition, it holds training workshops on specific themes for business partners as needed.
Prevention of Contamination by Foreign Matter
The Group is introducing screening equipment at plants to prevent contamination by foreign matter. In addition to installing sieves, wind, color, and magnetic sorters and x-ray inspection systems for use at the time of raw materials delivery, in fiscal 2018, the NISSIN FOOD PRODUCTS Shiga Plant installed a centrifuge that removes minute foreign matter in frying oil. Accompanying the start of pallet transport, the Shizuoka Plant introduced a pallet cleaning system to prevent foreign matter adhering to pallets from entering the plant. NISSIN FOODS INDIA has installed metal detectors for use in the packaging process on its manufacturing lines for mainstay products and x-ray inspection systems on two lines.
We practice rigorous hygiene management to prevent contamination of products by foreign matter. Plant employees place all personal items in designated lockers and wear specified uniforms to prevent head and body hair from entering the production area. Furthermore, employees enter the plant only after following a procedure involving use of an adhesive roller, hand washing, air drying, disinfecting with alcohol, shoe cleaning, and passing through an air shower.
Evaluation of the Manufacturing Plant Quality Control System
The Institute evaluates the status of manufacturing control at each using five categories—food safety management, pest avoidance measures, manufacturing practices, maintenance (period inspection of equipment), and cleaning activities—and offers improvement proposals for any issues discovered during evaluation. In fiscal 2018, the Institute carried out quality inspection activities at a total of 233 plants: 163 in Japan and 70 overseas. To verify the effectiveness of quality control and improve it at each plant, the Institute also began quality inspection activities to check whether quality standards in raw and packaging materials acceptance and manufacturing process control standards are being followed and whether product audits are being correctly conducted.
Pre-shipment Product Inspection
To confirm whether manufactured products meet internal quality standards, the Institute carries out microbiological testing, acid value and peroxide value testing of frying oil, visual inspection, and weight checking. It conducts quality checks of product texture and flavor, such as sensory testing (sampling) by qualified food tasters.
Product History Management Covering from Raw and Packaging Materials to Manufacture and Shipment (Traceability)
- 1. Use of QR codes
- The Group is building up a traceability system to enable tracing of product information, such as place of origin and producer.
To enable automatic tracing of the materials it sources from suppliers, NISSIN FOOD PRODUCTS attaches QR codes to outer cartons or inner bags and manages raw and packaging material information including lot number, manufacturing date, and supplier. It has also begun introduction of QR codes at overseas plants for raw and packaging materials delivered directly from manufacturers.
- 2. Installation of Quality Control Cameras
- NISSIN FOOD PRODUCTS, NISSIN CHILLED FOODS, NISSIN FROZEN FOODS, MYOJO FOODS, NISSIN CISCO, NISSIN YORK, Bonchi and some other plants have installed a total of more than 6,000 quality control cameras. We have put in place a system capable of keeping track of product manufacturing time using camera images and X-ray picture records and have made it possible to determine the cause of any problem that occurs within 24 hours even for trace amounts of matter.
Information Sharing for the Purpose of Quality Improvement
NISSIN FOOD PRODUCTS holds bimonthly production technology meetings for the purpose of information sharing among the production plants, Production Division, Resourcing Division, and Global Food Safety Institute. The participants strive to improve quality by discussing matters such as quality issues and the horizontal deployment and standardization of technologies across plants. The company also holds bimonthly plant manager meetings in which the plant managers and representatives of the Production Division and other involved divisions participate.