Cognis banks quality standard at Bavarian plant

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food safety, Cognis

German ingredients giant Cognis has attained an ISO (International Standards Organisation) grading for a facility that produces sterol esters, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and fish oils.

Cognis’ Nutrition & Health Competence Center in Illertissen, Germany, received the ISO 22000:2005 quality certificate from German firm, DQS GmbH, which acknowledges the facility is meeting certain production standards.

The ISO 22000:2005 standard was developed by ISO in 2005 and outlines food safety practices that among other things, ​communicate food safety issues to their suppliers, customers and relevant interested parties in the food chain”.

Cognis said the standard recognised the “rigorous demands on all process levels and along the whole chain of food production – from choosing raw materials and producing ingredients to manufacturing consumer products.”

It said it was one of the first German companies to gain the certificate. Ingredients manufactured at the plant include Vegapure (sterol esters), Tonalin (CLA), Omevital (omega-3 fish oils), Delios (MCT oils) and special triglycerides for use in functional food (dairy products, margarine, and beverages) and dietary supplements.

The company was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

ISO standards and certificates

Roger Frost,​ the manager of communication services in the marketing and communication department of the ISO Central Secretariat in Geneva, outlined why companies attempted ISO standard validation

“Certification is not a requirement of the standard which can be implemented by an organisation solely for the benefits it brings to the organisation and to its customers,”​ he told NutraIngredients.com.

“However, many organisations choose to have their food management system independently certified as conforming to the standard for the perceived credibility that an independent audit and certificate brings. In addition, its customers or regulators may require certification.”

By the end of 2007, 4000 ISO 22000:2005 standards were issued in 93 countries, with companies such as Danone, Kraft and Nestlé involved.

Frost added: “The difficulty of certification depends on many factors including the size and complexity of the company and its products and services, whether the certification covers one or multiple sites and the level of training and maturity of staff. Simply put, if the organisation already has a systematic approach to ensuring food safety in place, then it will have less difficulty in bringing this into line with the requirements of standard than a company which is just starting to take a systematic approach.”

Cognis Nutrition & Health Europe vice president, Gerhard Lobmaier, said the certification was “further proof that our products meet the highest quality standards.”

The site manager at the Bavarian facility, Andreas Heidbreder, said Cognis had appointed a “food safety team combining competencies in quality management, microbiology, food technology, food law, chemistry, and engineering,” ​to meet the standard’s requirements.

The facility has also implemented a HACCP system (Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points) system to analyse and eliminate potential health risks.

Cognis expanded its esterification plants with a €10m investment in 2007.

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