- How to Start a Food Business (FDA)
- Virtual Labs (A collaboration of USDA, South Dakota State University, North Dakota State University and New Mexico State University) Virtual simulations (using Adobe Flash Player) cover basic laboratory techniques and practice methods that may be of interest to small food industry owners.
California - Resources for Processing Foods
The following California organizations have collaborated on the new resources below for small-scale farmers and processors on how to produce your product safely and in compliance with applicable state and federal regulations: Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), University of California Department of Food Science & Technology (UC Davis FST), UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) and the Western Regional Center for Food Safety (WRCEFS).
- Value-Added On-Farm Processing - Regulatory Considerations - Examples and a flow chart to help farmers understand multiple state and federal regulations. (PDF 1.8 MB)
- A free webinar to explain the flowchart above.
- Permit Timeline Resources - What to do and when you should do it
- Processed Food Registration Permit Timeline
- California Cannery License Program Timeline
- A free webinar to explain the timeline documents above.
- A PDF of the slides from the webinar above (PDF 5.8 MB)
- California Cottage Food Operations (University of California Cooperative Extension)
- Cottage Food Operations (CDPH) New State Law as of January 1, 2013
- Forrager.com - Cottage Food Laws by State
Co-packers are food processors that have extra manufacturing capacity and offer their services for a fee. This is often an attractive option for people starting in the food business. The product and its package must be matched to the co-packer and its available equipment. Co-packers often offer additional services such as product development (often critical to scaling up the volume of product produced), label review, and regulatory compliance.
- Choosing and Using a Co-Packer (NC State University) (PDF 26 KB)
- Co-Packers Database (UC Davis Food Safety). This database provides a partial list of co-packers with an emphasis on those located in California, with a link to a nationwide listing.
- Small Co-Packers in the northeastern United States (Cornell University) Information on Co-Packers/Commercial kitchens in 14 northeastern U.S. States.
- Food Processing: Using a Co-Packer (Oklahoma Cooperative Extension) (PDF 43 KB)
- Filling Machines for the Smaller Food Processing Operation (Kansas State University) (PDF 29 KB) This brochure goes through some of the considerations important in purchasing a filling machine for use in a small food processing operation.
- Providing Safe Containers for Food Products - Facts for Niche-Market Food Processors (Kansas State University) (PDF 25 KB) This brochure points out some of the important considerations in selection of food packaging containers.
Food Entrepreneur Programs
- Cornell University: Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship
- FoodCraft Institute (Non-Profit, Oakland, CA)
- Kansas State University: Kansas Value-Added Foods Lab
- National Center for Home Food Preservation: Resources for Starting Your Own Preserved Foods Business
- North Carolina State University: Entrepreneur Initiative for Food
- Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey: Rutgers Food Innovation Center
- University of Nebraska, Lincoln: The Food Processing Center
- Utah State University: Small Food Entrepreneur Food Safety
- Texas A & M University: Getting Started as a Food Processing Entrepreneur
Food Grade Materials
Food & Packaging Waste
- Food Loss and Waste Collaborative (UC Davis)
- Food Loss and Waste Publication - A paper in the series on The Need for Agricultural Innovation to Sustainably Feed the World by 2050 (CAST) (PDF 3.0 MB)
- USDA and Food Waste: The USDA says one-third of all available food in the United States goes uneaten due to loss or waste - and they provide programs, policies, and guidance designed to help with the problem.
- Approximate pH Values of Various Foods (Clemson University) (PDF 209 KB). The pH and/r acidity of a food are generally used to determine processing requirements and applicability of specific regulations. The approximate ranges of pH values of common food products are compiled in this table.
- Water Activity of Sugar and Salt Solutions (BC Centre for Disease Control) (PDF 90 KB)
- Book, Methods for Developing New Food Products, Second Edition by Fadi Aramouni Ph.D. and Kathryn Deschenes M.S.
- Basic Elements of a Sanitation Program for Food Processing and Food Handling (University of Florida) (PDF 41 KB)
- Basic Elements of Equipment Cleaning and Sanitizing in Food Processing and Handling Operations (University of Florida) (PDF 105 KB)
- Guidelines for the Use of Chlorine Bleach as a Sanitizer in Food Processing Operations (Oklahoma State University) (PDF 902 KB)
- Sanitary Design and Construction of Food Equipment (University of Florida) (PDF 481 KB)
- Sanitary Design and Construction of Food Processing and Handling Facilities (University of Florida) (PDF 124 KB)
- Water: FDA guidance for use of water by food manufacturers in areas affected by a boil-water advisory (FDA)