Franklin Baker® Company operates two coconut-manufacturing facilities in the Philippines. These plants are located in San Pablo City, Laguna (where our processed and value added coconut products are manufactured) and Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur (where desiccated coconut products are manufactured). Both plants are certified to conform to the ISO 9001:2008 and HACCP quality management systems and have received third party certifications from organizations such as British Retail Consortium (BRC) and SEDEX. Our Davao facility was recently certified to conform to the ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety Management System and we expect our San Pablo facility to receive the same certification by end of 2012. Our Davao microbiology laboratory is now accredited to the ISO 17025 Laboratory Management Sytem. In addition, both plants have been inspected and received Halal plant accreditation by the Islamic Da’Wah Council of the Philippines and have been Kosher certified by OK Kosher Certification.
Franklin Baker’s manufacturing plants are known for producing the highest quality desiccated, processed and value-added coconut products. In the desiccated coconut industry, critical to quality attributes include cut uniformity, consistency and degree of whiteness, moisture and sulfite content, absence of unwanted foreign materials and compliance to internally recognized food safety standards related to microbiological levels in food products. Franklin Baker employs several unique & best practices in our manufacturing processes as well as the use of specialized equipment to help ensure the high quality & safety of our food products.
Following are the major components of the Quality System:
A continuous blancher-dryer system is utilized to prevent post microbial contamination after pasteurization (blancher). The coconut meat is subjected to saturated steam at 180°F for at least three (3) minutes. Data representing steam flow and temperature is recorded and monitored to assure continuous control. Our blancher conveyor automatically stops if steam flow rate and temperature fall below the critical limits.
Our pasteurization system offers significant benefits vs. the industry standard of using the thermal screw system. While the thermal screw system is considerably less costly to operate, it has the functional disadvantage of recontamination due to the presence of "cold spots" resulting to incomplete kill. The thermal screw system provides a rotating exposure to steam that is not constant and cannot be clearly monitored.
In addition, both our plants have the capability to produce their own electricity and steam requirements in order to help prevent interruption in our manufacturing operations.
Lastly, our processing areas are supplied with filtered air that helps prevents our products from exposure to airborne physical and microbial contaminants.
We implement an extensive sampling plan by taking samples from each bag produced and putting together a composite sample and having these tested. This sampling plan was adopted based on US FDA & ICMSF (International Compendium of Microbiological Specifications for Food) standards.
Non-food contact surface areas are subjected to regular swabs for pathogen test. In addition, food contact surface areas are sampled & tested regularly for indicator organisms.
Surface swabs (ATP & microbiological) are taken before start of operation on all food contact surface areas to validate compliance to cleaning & sanitization procedures.
Deep wells and all water at points of use are sampled regularly for microbiological testing. Process and non-process water supply are regularly tested for chlorine levels.
An integrated quality and food safety management system is in place. Microbiological testing includes total plate count, coli form/E-coli, mold/yeast and Salmonella. We also conduct audit level testing for staphylococcus aureus and lipolytic activity.
No product is released for shipment unless it receives documented clearance from the QA Department.
A major microbiological concern related to coconut is the presence of a bacterium called salmonella that is prevalent in tropical climates where coconut is sourced and processed. Without stringent controls, the risk of salmonella contamination is quite high. To ensure accurate and proper detection of salmonella, Franklin Baker has adopted the use of an automated BAX system since the year 2000. This detection equipment (a highly sensitive and rapid means of amplifying a target organism’s DNA) is a PCR-based system for pathogen detection that can detect presence of Salmonella within 26-28 hours from start of analysis without the need for additional confirmation.
All our manufacturing lines have a minimum number of high strength magnets. All products pass through in-line metal detectors and they are regularly tested & calibrated.
We conduct inspections of all container vans prior to use including their previous loads. We ensure that each container van is free from leaks, pests and odor. As a further measure to protect our products, the flooring of all container vans are lined with Kraft paper prior to product loading. This procedure was adopted to help mitigate the risk of odor & moisture contamination inside the container van.
Wastewater facilities of manufacturing companies in the Philippines must comply with Philippine environmental standards set by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on water effluent quality. FBC has exerted significant effort and made investments to meet and exceed all statutory and regulatory standards and implements what it believes to be the most appropriate treatment and disposal system for wastewater.
Our Research and Development group provide technical, regulatory & product development support to our customers both locally and abroad. Our R&D group continues to work on new products and application ideas to help our customers maximize the benefit and appeal of coconut in various food applications.