For over 50 years, CARIRI has been working with players throughout the food chain, assisting them in improving their practices so that they provide safer foods to consumers. The Unit works with other agencies locally, regionally and internationally in a collaborative effort to improve the food industry and align the Caribbean region to the competitive international arena.

Why Choose Us

 Premier regional food safety authority 

Our Mission

To develop a region sensitized to food safety and improve the implementation of good food safety practices, thereby improving our quality of life, food security and competitiveness.

Objectives

  • Educate farmers, food manufacturers, food service providers, food distributors, food regulatory bodies, consumers and school children on good food safety practices.
  • Foster, and assist in, the implementation of good food safety management practices among food manufacturers, food distributors and food service providers.
  • Influence changes in legislation and offer support for food safety management locally and regionally.
  • Address critical issues in food safety management and develop the most relevant, applicable and workable solutions.
  • Promote co-ordination among stakeholders in the Food and Beverage Industry locally, regionally and internationally.
  • Disseminate information on key food safety issues locally and throughout the region.
  • Provide the technical assistance necessary to ensure good food safety management practices among food handlers in the region.
  • Assist local and regional exporters in the Food and Beverage sector to meet the requirements of international markets.
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Activities

  • Assisting stakeholders in becoming compliant with internationally recognized systems and standards, inclusive of GAP, GMP, HACCP, ISO 22000:2005, FSSC 22000 and other food safety standards
  • Offering food safety training programmes, inclusive of GMP, HACCP and ISO 22000:2005
  • Conducting food safety audits and assistance to organizations in developing good food safety management systems
  • Creating and disseminating information via radio and television programmes, newspaper and newsletter articles, workshops and other fora, to encourage improved food safety management practices throughout the food chain
  • Conducting research aimed at improving food safety management
  • Hosting food safety conferences
  • Offering export consultancies
  • Staging outreach programmes (e.g. exhibitions and displays)

The Biotechnology Unit at CARIRI can assist you with almost any type of issue, from solving food safety problems to developing formulations to guiding you with commercialising your product and meeting local and export requirements.

Our Services

  • Product and Process Development
  • Product and Process Standardisation
  • Contract Processing/Facility Rental
  • Development of Food Safety Management Systems
  • Implementation of Food Safety Management Systems , Private Food Quality and Food Safety Standards
  • Troubleshooting Food Processing and Product-related problems
  • Equipment Recommendations, Sourcing, Commissioning and Optimization
  • Facility and Equipment Layout – to meet good manufacturing and sound food safety practices
  • Support in meeting regional and international market requirements for export
  • Food Safety Audits
  • Training in Food Processing Principles and Practical Skills

Product Development

Scenario: I have an idea for a product but no formulation

Response:

We have successfully developed Alcoholic and Non-alcoholic Beverages, Condiments, Confectionery, Drink mixes, Yogurt, Popsicles, Sorbets, Cereals, Dry Mixes, Soy Products, Snacks and a range of other products.

Product Standardisation and Improvement

Scenario 1: Product quality varies in each production which may result in customer complaints, spoilage or loss.

Scenario 2: Client is ready to scale up production but does not have a documented formulation or process. Optimisation needed or inclusion of automation.

Response:

Standardisation involves the documentation and conversion of the client’s existing formulation and process to a format that can be scaled to increase production capacity. Volumetric measurements (cups, teaspoons) are converted to weight measurements (kg), raw material specifications are documented, processing parameters are documented (time, temperature, etc.), food safe steps are recommended and/or final product specifications are developed.  

There is no change to the client’s formulation in this service.

Improvement involves modifications of an existing product. This may include the addition (e.g. use of preservative) or change in type or quantity of a raw material (eg. use of citric acid instead of lime juice) and processing methodology (e.g., introduction of a heat treatment step) to improve or enhance product characteristics.

Contract Processing/Facility Rental

Scenario: SMEs in the food and beverage industry are faced with several challenges as it relates to developing their product and maintaining a safe and reliable supply to satisfy their customers’ demands. Client is producing in small batches in their home kitchen but now has an increased customer requests the demand exceeds their current capability. The client may also be entering into the local market. The local market requires use of a facility approved by the Public Health.


Response: CARIRI houses production facilities with food processing equipment for a wide range of products. The UWI Campus Pilot Plant Processing Area has a valid Certificate of Inspection of Manufacturing Premises.

Equipment includes but is not limited to:
  • Scales
  • pH Meters
  • Luminometers
  • Water Activity Metes
  • Moisture Balance
  • Viscometer
  • Consistometer
  • Steam Blancher
  • Steam Kettles
  • Homogeniser
  • Pulper
  • Chipper
  • Chopper
  • Mixers
  • Graters
  • Colloid Mill
  • Convection Oven
  • Drying Oven
  • Walk in Chiller
  • Walk in Freezer
  • Blast Freezer
  • Patty Former
  • Incubators
  • Hammer Mill
  • Fillers
  • Sealers
  • Teabag Machine

Products include but is not limited to:

  • Sauces, Jams and Condiments
  • Beverages
  • Dry Mixes – flours, cereals, teabags, seasonings, spices
  • Dough and Baked Goods
  • Yogurt

To access the facility, the client must:

  1. Have a standardized product – Weights, Processing parameters and Raw Material, In process and Finished Product Specifications. This can be done by CARIRI or the client.
  2. Conduct a scale up and equipment trial. The objectives are to:
    1. adapt the standardized process using the available equipment at CARIRI’s facilities
    2. determine maximum production capacity and batch sizes
    3. develop a batch sheet
    4. determine the personnel required (CARIRI staff and Client staff)

Clients are responsible for supplying all raw materials, including packaging, and labour. CARIRI can assist in ensuring formulation is followed, process and product food safety protocols are observed and operating equipment.

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