Food Engineering, Food Processing, Product Development & Ingredient Innovations
Development of Shelf Life Stable Products
*Please note that only American citizens and green card holders may apply for this assignment.
Land O’Lakes International Development is pleased to offer a volunteer position in Lebanon for someone with expertise in food technology for the Farmer to Farmer Program. Your time is donated and all expenses such as airfare, lodging, meals and an interpreter are covered by the program.
Start Date: ASAP
Length of Assignment: 15 days
Country: Lebanon Region: Rashaya Al Wadi - Bekaa
The host organization is a family business producing grape molasses for the past two decades and in 2016 the company launched their new product “Grape syrup” in the local market. Moreover, the host organization installed recently a production line for cereal bars by using grape syrup instead of sugar to produce a healthy snack without added sugars or preservatives.
As they are still in their initial stages of production, the host is currently working on improving their production quality where shelf life represents an important factor to consider. The host organization lacks expertise in identifying the factors that may cause changes in the developed cereal/granola bars and grape-based syrups and requires assistance to produce stable products with palatable taste and texture.
Therefore, they are requesting a volunteer expert to work with them on determining the chemical, biological or physical factors that cause sensory and quality changes that could affect the shelf life of the product, which will lead to the production of stable and safe product for a long shelf life.
Shelf life of a food product represent one of the major challenges in the food industry. It represents the time between the production and packaging phase and the point at which the product becomes unacceptable for consumption. Since the food must be safe with acceptable quality when consumed, shelf-life is an essential aspect of the product design and it should be controlled. Maintaining a proper shelf-life is a requirement of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) as well as several international standards for quality systems.
Since processing and storage conditions may affect the quality characteristics of foods, several factors should be evaluated. Organoleptic properties and analytical values should be also assessed when detecting the stability of cereal and granola bars. Appearance, flavor and texture of the product are important as well, as are the analytical values such as vitamin and mineral content.
The host is in the process of producing granola bars and grape-based syrups to be introduced in the market in year 2019 and securing new deals for the export market. However, the host does not know the shelf life of his products and what factors may affect the product’s quality. Thus, an expert in shelf life assessment and product development is required to aid them in producing shelf-stable products.
Identify the factors that affect the shelf life of the current cereal bars and grape-based syrups.
Resolve faced problems (i.e. compositional or environmental factors)
Extend the shelf life stable cereal bars and grape-based syrups
Improved shelf-life products
Increased host knowledge regarding the production of shelf-life stable products
Secured new markets
Deliverables. Each volunteer must submit a Final Report to the F2F Program, which includes the following sections:
A. A summary of tasks and observations from site visits
B. A list of 3-5 specific and actionable recommendations for the host organization(s).
C. A section listing the assignment objectives above and how they were met or why they were not met.
C. A short summary of the assignment with relevant photos that can be posted.
Upon return to the United States, the volunteer is requested to communicate his or her F2F experience. Outlets to share the volunteer experience include home groups (e.g., civic and religious groups, professional associations, etc.), workplace presentations, local newspapers, community or workplace newsletters, personal blogs and social media sites. It is important to give recognition to USAID for funding F2F. At least two outreach events are requested and should be communicated to Aimee Foster at email@example.com and Sadie Paschke at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers will receive occasional surveys requesting information about completed outreach activities during each period.
Key Experiences and Qualifications:
The recruited volunteer is expected to have the following skills and qualifications:
Educational Background: University degree related to Food Technology or Food Engineering.
The expert shall have a minimum of 15 years’ experience working in food processing, research and development of food products including shelf life testing.
Experience working with food processing facilities on products’ shelf-life improvement for cereal/granola bars and grape-based syrups development.
USAID programs experience is highly required.
Experience in Lebanon and MENA region is preferable.
Training skills, including training in group settings.
Good writing and computer skills.
Sufficiently physically fit, with appropriate medical clearance.
Familiar with conducting trainings through translators/interpreters
Available for assignment as soon as possible
Requirement of the Program: Only U.S. citizens or Green Card holders are eligible to apply.
About Land O'Lakes Venture37
Since 1981, we’ve been delivering market insights and technical expertise to agricultural development projects around the world. Through our affiliation with Land O’Lakes, Inc., one of the U.S.’s largest farmer-owned agribusinesses, we’re Feeding Human Progress by improving agricultural systems.