In addition to blending and filling, SternMaid said it offers customers tailor-made solutions ranging from the purchase of raw materials, consultancy and product optimization to delivery of the finished goods.
Around 40,000 tonnes of powdered food ingredients a year can be blended and packaged on a production and storage area of 10,000 m². Six blending lines are available for the different product categories and batches between 25 kg and 2,500 kg in size.
Two of these lines are equipped for the flexible production of small orders. Three fully automated production lines of the latest design make it possible to blend all manner of different formulations, SternMaid said. A sophisticated process control and visual display system combined with automatic feeding of the blenders permits dosing accurate to the gram.
Since 2008 a completely independent section of the factory with a counter-current container blending system designed to pharmaceutical standards has been available for extremely sensitive applications such as baby food and vitamin and mineral premixes.
With this equipment in separate rooms it is possible, for example, to compound allergen-free products under the strictest hygiene conditions, SternMaid said. This part of the factory covers two floors, has separate production rooms for each stage of the process and is ventilated with filtered air. Besides the conduct of functional tests, the bacterial count of the air is measured regularly and monitored. The rooms are divided into different hygiene zones. Incoming and outgoing goods enter and leave the production area through a materials air lock. When the production plant was built, great importance was attached to optimal cleaning.
The cleaning process itself is validated according to Part II of the E.U. GMP Guide, which is applicable to the manufacture of pharmaceutical products. Of course SternMaid is also certified according to ISO 9001:2008, IFS Higher Level and BRC Grade A. Moreover, several major food manufacturers have appointed the company as their A supplier. Outsourcing customers may audit any part of the plant according to their own specifications.