Food Standard and Quality Control

Lesson 02 :Terms And Definitions


Quality: The characteristics of a material which meets the customer’s requirements and is acceptable. The quality of a material varies in accordance with its intended use.

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Low quality Good quality

Food quality: The characteristics of a food that is acceptable to consumers. It includes the external factors such as appearance, texture, and flavor, factors such as federal grade standards for eggs and internal factors such as chemical, physical and microbial.

The combination of attributes or characteristics of a product will have significance in determining the degree of acceptability of that product to the consumer. Hence more the degree of acceptability, the higher would be the quality and vice versa.

Food Quality assurance: It is the precision and accuracy by which the various requirements for quality are measured and controlled to provide a commodity which satisfies the wants of a consumer is known as quality assurance. This provides internal and external confidence that a food industry fulfils the requirement for quality.

In the manufacturing of food products, quality is an important requirement, because consumers are susceptible to any form of contamination that might occur during the manufacturing process. Most of the consumers generally depend on manufacturing and processing standards, specially to know the type of ingredients present, due to dietary, nutritional requirements, or medical conditions. Quality assurance has become a necessary component of the food service business with the adoption of analysis and control systems for food safety.

The main purpose :

  • To provide consumers with good quality foods.
  • To prevent Poor handling of foods and spoilage due to microbial contamination.
  • To prevent the presence of hazardous chemicals in foods due to lack of control in the usage of pesticides.
  • To prevent the addition of food additives in excess and use of wrong additives.
  • To prevent food adulteration which defrauds the customer, decreases nutritive value of food and causes harm.
  • To reduce naturally occurring toxins in food.

Quality system: This refers to the organization structure, responsibility, procedures, processes and resources needed to implement a comprehensive quality management programme.

Food quality control: A programmed and coordinated activity of authentic organizations to maintain and improve the quality of food products

Safety: The relative certainty that a substance will not cause harm or injury.

Food safety: Thebasic concept offood safety is that when food is consumed either fresh or processed will not harm the consumer so long as intended guidelines are followed in the preparation. Food becomes potentially harmful whenever it has been exposed to hazardous agents and intended use guidelines have not been followed.
Food safety is a multi sectorial activity which demands good coordination between:

  • Central and state ministries
  • National institutes and laboratories
  • Trader and food industries
  • NGOs
  • Consumers
  • International organizations

Food standards:A body of rules or legislation defining certain criteria, such as composition, appearance, freshness, source, sanitation, maximal bacterial count, purity, maximum concentration of additives, and so on, which the food must fulfill to be suitable for distribution or for sale.

Food standards protect consumers from being cheated and also provide information in making food choices.
Justification for food standard is three fold:
  • To prevent the transmission or cause of the disease.
  • To limit the sale of unsatisfying product.
  • To simplify the marketing of food.

Food Risk: It is the likelyhood of an occurrence of a hazardous event after the consumption of a food due to the presence of hazardous materials.

Food hazard: It is a biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition of, food reasonably likely to cause illness or injury or an adverse health effect in the absence of its control.

Food toxicity: The presence of undesirable non nutritional substances resulting in potential health risks of different characteristics and magnitude to persons consuming them. The undesirable constituents that affect the food quality include toxicants that are present naturally or chemical contaminants or environmental contaminants or toxins released by microbial growth.

Last modified: Wednesday, 15 February 2012, 8:48 AM