WANT Want Group, maker of Wangzi milk, Want Snow cake and other high-quality products, won in the food safety innovation demonstration project in the 2016 China International Food Safety and Innovation Technology Exhibition. The event, which was held in Beijing and had the theme “to protect food safety, science and technology to create a better life,” showcased the latest achievements in food safety management and technological innovation.
The exhibition is a major activity by the State Council Food Safety Commission Office guidance and organised by the Economic Daily and China Economic Net contractors. It was participated in by nearly 100 companies in the food production, distribution, testing and traceability industry chain.
Dr Cao Yongmei, Want Want Group director, shares with us the company’s plans and vision for the future.
Want Want Group director Dr Cao Yongmei
What risk assessment mechanisms do you practice?
We continue to implement QC even with our suppliers, who we see as partners and who share our company values. We require our suppliers to prioritize food safety the same way we do. We have been lucky to find partners that share Want Want’s commitment to food safety and quality excellence and are willing to work with us to maintain the same high quality.
We conduct risk assessment for all our suppliers. This evaluation consists of process assessment, site visits and data analysis. The suppliers are graded to the risk level. Those with high risk levels undergo further supervision. This involves on-the-spot and unscheduled inspections. Suppliers that fail to cooperate will be stopped or even replaced.
In addition to the supplier food safety risk assessment, we use a risk assessment model to establish a food safety risk assessment mechanism for the entire supply chain process. Based on the characteristics of the products and the manufacturing process, we set up a risk assessment team consisting of quality assurance, R&D, equipment, microbiology and external experts. This team is tasked to identify, determine, communicate and manage the risks of the source, process, storage and shelves.
With all of these mechanisms in place, we have managed to reduce food safety risks to an acceptable level. This is crucial in these times when the increasing frequency of food safety incidents in China has dampened consumer confidence. We hope that through our efforts we are able to contribute to minimizing food safety risks toward changing the image of Chinese food in people's minds.
Want Want pursues a standardization policy highlighting “safety, standards and innovation.” Tell us more about this.
Want Want has 94 factories across China. To maintain quality, consistency and stability, we standardized management practices on top of implementing national standards. We also ensure our products meet corporate standards.
The Want Want standard production management system (WSM), which was established two years ago, is divided into four major systems, namely production, quality, safety and training. It is based on ISO, HACCP, BRC, IFS and other advanced management systems.
WSM is still fairly new, but two years into implementation and validation we already note the system’s suitability to our company’s needs and standards. Want Want’s wide range of products translates to process complexity, with each product having different key control points from the rest. Through the WSM management system, entire processes and output from the R&D, raw materials procurement, manufacturing, quality inspection, storage, transportation and aftersales service, even the development stage, adhere to operating norms and standards.
We will set the best factory for a single product as a benchmarking plant. This plant will then set the standards and training courses. After review by the headquarters, the benchmarking factory will be implemented in the whole country. It will be the main site for innovations and improvements as well.
To stay updated with new product development and innovation and equipment upgrades, Want Want hopes to continue improving on the WSM management system to ensure product quality.
The premium Want-Want BB536 yogurt for improved gut health, also enhances immunity, lowers cholesterol and reduces the risks colorectal cancer
Why did the company enter the low-temperature frozen food market?
Increasing health awareness among consumers has boosted this market in recent years. Besides fruit juice drinks and functional beverages, there has been rising interest in milk drinks.
Low-temperature yogurt is found to be more beneficial to human intestinal health. Want Want believes the low-temperature dairy market has strong growth in the food and beverage industry, in particular amid today’s nutrition and health trends. The company sees this product segment as its new profit growth point.
Want Want has chosen its Nanjing plant to be the pilot manufacturing site for its low-temperature products. We are working with Senyon Dairy, known as “Hundred Years Dairy,” in addressing the cold chain logistics, production line construction, distribution and other aspects of manufacture and transport, which differ from the processes involved in normal-temperature milk products. Senyon is providing us with the technical support from factory building, product development, production technology to quality control.
Tell us about your low-temperature refrigeration products.
There are two kinds of low-temperature products: the yogurt and Wangzai French Bulei dairy products; and the low-temperature jelly frozen desserts, which are different from ordinary low-temperature jelly frozen desserts. The latter includes jasmine tea jelly frozen dessert, Assam tea jelly frozen dessert, coffee jelly frozen dessert.
The Want-Want BB536 yogurt which is positioned at the high end, contains BB536 bifidobacteria. The BB536 improves the intestinal environment and helps relieve constipation and allergic symptoms. It also enhances immunity, lowers cholesterol and reduces the risks colorectal cancer. The Wangzai yogurt which is targeted at children, comes in original and strawberry flavors. It also has a protein content of 3.5%.
The popular Wangzai French Bulei dairy products are regarded by experts as breaking the domestic leisure dairy products or milk-containing jelly products. These pudding products have ≥2.3g/100g protein and ≥2.5g/100g fat content. It maintains its smooth and stable texture even after long cold storage.
What is the company doing to meet the trend for natural and healthful products?
Natural and healthful products drive the main trend for today’s modern diet. In order to keep up with this trend, Want Want is constantly working to reduce the fat, sugar, salt and calorie content of its products.
Every year we lower the amount of sugar added to the Wangzai milk. We have also been cutting the amount of salt added to some of our products. At the same time, we also add some beneficial elements such as prebiotics/probiotics, cellulose, vitamins and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
In addition, our R&D department is constantly reducing the use of additives and types of use.
What are the company’s other recent innovations?
We continue to place high value on the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of production and development. In this regard we continue to pursue innovations in the areas of management, product development, processing and packaging.
In terms of product innovation, development directions point to product cross-border integration, natural health and ease of use. One of our recent innovations in this area is the Want Want Sucking Ice. Targeted at the cold drink beverages segment, this product seems like a thick shake but stays frozen after eating and is like ice cream. Besides being delicious, it is easy to carry and store, thereby overcoming the challenges of ice cream transport and storage.
In production process, we are improving the selection of emulsifiers and optimizing other procedures. We are also working to address protein precipitation and floating of fat content to boost product quality further.
We are automating the entire production process for better control. We also continue to introduce advanced foreign production equipment. For example, the automatic hard candy and gel candy production line now uses Germany’s Bosch, Australia’s NID and other high-end foreign equipment.
In terms of packaging, innovation revolves around optimizing processes and boosting speeds. We have introduced an automatic APET aseptic cold filling production line, which features a speed of up to 800 bottles per minutes. The E3 equipment boasts a filling speed of 40,000 bags per hour, five times more than traditional models. This has not only significantly improved production capacity but also generated savings of up to 20%. – first published in China Food Manufacturing Journal