Spearheading Food Safety Assurance
The Food Safety Research Institute (current name: NISSIN Global Food Safety Institute) was established in 2002 to ensure the quality of products throughout the NISSIN FOODS Group. The institute develops new analysis systems, conducts quality surveys, and performs product quality assurance at every stage from the procurement and processing of raw materials to production of finished products. The institute has obtained certification for ISO/IEC 17025 (general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories), making the NISSIN FOODS Group one of the few food companies in the world to be certified under this international standard. The institute takes full advantage of world-class analysis capabilities, independently developed analysis systems, and other advanced quality assurance technologies in the areas of product development and production.
Testing for residual agricultural chemicals and veterinary drugs
The NISSIN Global Food Safety Institute prevents the contamination of products by harmful substances by conducting inspections for any residual agricultural chemicals and veterinary drugs that may be contained in raw materials. NASRAD-700 (Nissin's Analytical System for Residual Agricultural Chemicals and Veterinary Drugs), the latest version of an independently developed analysis system, can rapidly perform simultaneous analysis of 545 residual agricultural chemicals and 188 veterinary drugs. In addition, the use of FASRAC (Food Automatic Analytical Systems for Residual Agricultural Chemicals), an automatic preprocessing apparatus, has dramatically improved testing proficiency and accuracy.
Food allergen testing
In addition to employing official testing methods for seven specified allergenic raw materials for which labeling is required, the institute conducts tests for 16 additional similar materials for which labeling is recommended using an independently developed testing method based on genetic information.
Testing for carcinogens
The institute is independently developing new analysis systems that test for carcinogens in food products. NESMAGET (Nissin's Evaluation Systems for Mammalian GenoToxicity), a test method for human cell mutagenicity, applies the expression mechanism of the DNA repair gene p53R2, which the institute developed in 2003. In addition, in 2008 the institute discovered a gene cluster that exhibits a characteristic fluctuation in a carcinogenesis promoter. Using the level of expression of this gene cluster as an index, the institute developed NESTUP (Nissin's Evaluation System for Tumor-promoting Activity), a method that enables fast, simple, low-cost testing for carcinogenesis promoters.
Testing for food poisoning bacteria groups
The institute tests for food poising bacteria using three test methods, all of which can rapidly test for bacterial groups based on genetic information: the specific bacterial group rapid batch test method, the acetic acid tolerant lactic acid bacterial test method, and the emetic bacillus cereus test method.
Testing system for radioactive substances
The institute has introduced high-precision gamma ray spectrometers based on germanium semiconductor detectors, which make possible analysis that discriminates between the radionuclides cesium 134 and 137, for use in periodic testing of water (tap water and ground water) and products at the NISSIN FOODS Group's production plants and affiliated plants. This testing is in compliance with tightened new national standards for radioactive substances enacted in April 2012.
Simultaneous heavy metals analysis
Heavy metal pollution of waterways and soil caused by insufficiently treated effluent, a problem associated with the rapid industrialization of emerging nations, is a concern. Accordingly, the institute performs simultaneous analysis of heavy metals using inductively coupled plasma emission analysis (ICP-AEA) and inductively coupled plasma emission mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).
Food irradiation detection testing
Irradiation of foods for the purpose of sterilization is not permitted in Japan. (However, irradiation of potatoes to prevent sprouting is allowed.) For this reason, the institute performs testing to detect irradiation using photostimulated luminescence (PSL) and thermoluminescence (TL).
The NISSIN Global Food Safety Institute engages in the following survey activities to ensure that suitable measures are taken to maintain quality at each stage from the procurement and processing of raw materials to the production of finished products. If a problem is found at any stage, the institute proposes corrective measures.
1.Quality surveys of raw materials
The institute conducts quality surveys pertaining to every stage of raw materials production and processing, including surveys of farms, stockyards, and fisheries and on-site inspections of food plants.
2.On-site inspection of manufacturing plants based on the new NISFOS
The institute performs on-site assessment of product safety from the customer's point of view based on the new NISFOS (Nissin's Inspection Standards for Food Safety), dividing aspects of food safety into five quantified categories: food safety management, pest avoidance measures, manufacturing practices, maintenance, and cleaning activities.
3.Quality process management at manufacturing plants in China
Members of the NISSIN Global Food Safety Institute are posted permanently to the Food Safety Evaluation & Research Institute Co., Ltd. in Shanghai as process managers who manage the raw materials and manufacturing processes used at food plants associated with the NISSIN FOODS Group by regularly visiting plants across China.
The NISSIN FOODS Group engages in rigorous product quality assurance using an original quality control system that utilizes two approaches. One is dual management, by which each plant and the NISSIN Global Food Safety Institute separately conduct quality control testing. The other is quality testing proficiency management to maintain the food quality testing and analytical testing capabilities of each plant at or above a specific level.
Dual management assures independent quality control testing by both the NISSIN Global Food Safety Institute and each plant.
Quality testing proficiency management
The institute has developed the Food Safety Research Institute's Microbiological Analysis Proficiency System (SARMAPS)* and Food Safety Research Institute's Food Analysis Proficiency System (SARFAPS), which are utilized in testing at Group companies and affiliated companies. Microorganisms and food samples prepared at the institute are distributed to individual plants, where quality control managers conduct tests and report the results to the institute. The institute evaluates the results using statistical analysis and provides thorough guidance to any managers with unacceptable test results. The plants share information on reasons for unacceptable results and strive to improve testing proficiency.
- *SARMAPS is an innovative system (patent pending) that targets microorganisms difficult to use in accuracy control.