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Ingredient Supplier Specifications

Updated: May 15

The term "specification" is used commonly in the food industry. One of the benefits of working directly with an ingredient manufacturer is the access to ingredient information.

An ingredient supplier will provide a specification to a potential customer upon request. A brand owner uses this to ensure they are receiving a consistent quality ingredient. This is a helpful tool when a supplier has multiple product versions or variable quality. Ingredient "specs" also help brand owners compare different ingredient sources for quality and price.

Ingredient specifications typically contain:

  • Product and process description

  • Country of origin and manufacture facility location

  • Supplier product identification number

  • Specification version number

  • Compliance with applicable regulations

  • Product or facility certifications (organic, gluten free, kosher, etc.)

  • Ingredient list

  • Unrounded nutrition data

  • Allergen check list: indicates if a CFIA priority allergen is in the product, on the same production line or facility (informs labelling and claims)

  • Shelf life

  • Product code format

  • Storage requirements

  • Product properties (depends on product)

    • Physical: flavour, colour, dimensions, density, etc.

    • Chemical: pH, % moisture, Water Activity, % fat, etc.

    • Microbiological: test results and limits for microbes of concern

    • Defect tolerances: breakage, misshapen, off colour, etc.

  • Packaging format and material

  • Net weight

  • Units per Case, Case Dimensions

As brand owners increase distribution they may need to create a specification for their final product. This is often part of a food safety plan (HACCP Plan or a SFCR Preventive Control Plan) or used to communicate with potential co-packers and sometimes retailers.

Reach out to your Venturepark Labs contact to discuss what a Finished Product Specification could like for your product.

By Marlis Bens, Venturepark Labs Program Manager


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