More than just vegan

FEATURED SPEAKER Expo FoodTec Content Hub
ProVeg works to improve the taste, ease and accessibility of plant-based living by working to influence government policy, public institutions, the food industry, and society as a whole.  We caught up with Julia Schneider, Head of V-Label, ProVeg Deutschland to find out how more about guidelines and criteria for vegan products exemplified by the V-Label Standard.

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How has quality and safety monitoring evolved over the last couple of years in the F&B industry in general? What are the industry’s main concerns?
‘The industry's main concern is certainly to supply the consumer with food that is hygienic, but also sensorially and haptically flawless. Packaging must also meet the growing needs of the consumer while preserving the qualitative characteristics of the food. In the wake of food scandals, the rapid traceability of products and raw materials is also the be-all and end-all.’

Within the vegetarian and vegan sector what are the main challenges faced with regard to food quality and safety?
‘Due to the wide range of possible uses of ingredients, additives and processing aids of animal origin, it is particularly important to know these substances and their areas of application. It is also important to know how to deal with vegetarian or vegan food produced in the same production facilities as conventional food. Certain production times, sequences and hygiene measures must be observed.’

What new food & label regulations does your sector have to take into consideration? How will they impact certification?
‘The terms vegan and vegetarian are legally unprotected terms. Meanwhile, however, there are definitions according to which the authorities also check vegetarian and vegan foodstuffs. The V-Label itself works with precisely these definitions, which were introduced by the Conference of Consumer Protection Ministers in April 2016.’

Which new methods or programmes for certification are you developing?
‘The questions for desktop testing of potential V-Label products as well as the audit checklist for testing compliance with the V-Label guidelines in the production facility have been co-developed by us.’

As consumers become more aware of labelling and certifications etc., how will this impact the F&B industry and your sector in particular?
‘Producers will become more committed to looking for alternative raw materials and the market in this industry will grow. In addition, the separation of production steps and processes will be more closely integrated into production processes in order to offer more products the possibility of labelling. Controls in the field of vegetarian and vegan labelling are carried out more routinely and may become standard audits.’

Don’t miss Julia Schneider’s Expert Information Session: ‘More than just vegan: guidelines for auditing and manufacturing’, at the Expo FoodTec Content Hub on Wednesday 29th November, 15:45-16:25.