Purpose: This paper addresses the trade-off between asset investment and food safety in the design of a food catering production plant. It analyses the relationship between the quality decay of cook-warm products, the logistics of the processes and the economic investment in production machines. Design/methodology/approach: A weekly cook-warm production plan has been monitored on-field using temperature sensors to estimate the quality decay profile of each product. A multi-objective optimisation model is proposed to (1) minimise the number of resources necessary to perform cooking and packing operations or (2) to maximise the food quality of the products. A metaheuristic simulated annealing algorithm is introduced to solve the model and to identify the Pareto frontier of the problem. Findings: The packaging buffers are identified as the bottleneck of the processes. The outcome of the algorithms highlights that a small investment to design bigger buffers results in a significant increase in the quality with a smaller food loss. Practical implications: This study models the production tasks of a food catering facility to evaluate their criticality from a food safety perspective. It investigates the tradeoff between the investment cost of resources processing critical tasks and food safety of finished products. Social implications: The methodology applies to the design of cook-warm production. Catering companies use cook-warm production to serve school, hospitals and companies. For this reason, the application of this methodology leads to the improvement of the quality of daily meals for a large number of people. Originality/value: The paper introduces a new multi-objective function (asset investment vs food quality) proposing an original metaheuristic to address this tradeoff in the food catering industry. Also, the methodology is applied and validated in the design of a new food production facility.

A simulated annealing algorithm for the allocation of production resources in the food catering industry

Tufano A.;Accorsi R.;Manzini R.
2020

Abstract

Purpose: This paper addresses the trade-off between asset investment and food safety in the design of a food catering production plant. It analyses the relationship between the quality decay of cook-warm products, the logistics of the processes and the economic investment in production machines. Design/methodology/approach: A weekly cook-warm production plan has been monitored on-field using temperature sensors to estimate the quality decay profile of each product. A multi-objective optimisation model is proposed to (1) minimise the number of resources necessary to perform cooking and packing operations or (2) to maximise the food quality of the products. A metaheuristic simulated annealing algorithm is introduced to solve the model and to identify the Pareto frontier of the problem. Findings: The packaging buffers are identified as the bottleneck of the processes. The outcome of the algorithms highlights that a small investment to design bigger buffers results in a significant increase in the quality with a smaller food loss. Practical implications: This study models the production tasks of a food catering facility to evaluate their criticality from a food safety perspective. It investigates the tradeoff between the investment cost of resources processing critical tasks and food safety of finished products. Social implications: The methodology applies to the design of cook-warm production. Catering companies use cook-warm production to serve school, hospitals and companies. For this reason, the application of this methodology leads to the improvement of the quality of daily meals for a large number of people. Originality/value: The paper introduces a new multi-objective function (asset investment vs food quality) proposing an original metaheuristic to address this tradeoff in the food catering industry. Also, the methodology is applied and validated in the design of a new food production facility.
BRITISH FOOD JOURNAL
Tufano A.; Accorsi R.; Manzini R.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/805900
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