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02 December 2010

Woolworths lauded for food excellence

Woolworths have scooped the President's Award for their contribution to food science and technology at a recent international conference of food scientists and experts.

South African retailer Woolworths has scooped the President's Award for its contribution to food science and technology at a recent international (IUFoST) conference of 1752 food scientists and experts in Cape Town. The International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST), a country-membership organisation, is the global voice of food science and technology linking the world's top food scientists and technologists.

  • Woolworths was the first major local retailer to introduce sell by dates. Whilst the "Best Before" date is an indicator of quality (i.e. the product will not eat as well beyond this date as intended), the "Use By" date is a safety indicator (i.e. products with a use by date may potentially become harmful if consumed beyond the use by). 
     
  • Woolworths' legendary cold chain keeps their food fresher for longer. A cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain. In short, the retailer insists on first-class handling disciplines and optimum temperature control from the time a product is produced to when it reaches the store shelves.
     
  • Woolworths minimise the use of pesticides on their crops - for the good of their customers and the planet. For example in 2009 Woolies announced a new farming method for their fresh produce called Farming for the future which aims to radically improve soil and plant health, preserve resources like water and soil and protect biodiversity.
     
  • As far as possible, Woolworths avoid using additives in their own brand of food. Woolworths announced that from April 2010 Woolworths-branded foods would no longer contains azo dyes, a type of artificial colourants frequently used to colour sweets and other brightly coloured foodstuffs. (These include the Woolies wine gums, gummy loops, fruit salad gums, juicy jellies and jelly beans.) Also, since last year the retailer no longer uses the artificial sweeteners aspartame, saccharin and cyclamate.
     
  • Demanding food safety and integrity standards. Well beyond legal requirements, Woolworths have driven uncompromising production controls and audits for many years.

 
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