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The purpose of this study comes from the need of defining improved durability values and the realization of a good traceability management for selected vegan cheeses has…
The purpose of this study comes from the need of defining improved durability values and the realization of a good traceability management for selected vegan cheeses has suggested the comparison between a processed cheese and its analogous version without animal-origin raw materials. The durability should be studied at a well-defined temperature, probably agreed among the food producer and the food processor. In addition, the traceability system should consider many components and related suppliers.
A supply chain risk assessment analysis has been carried out with relation to two different products: an analogue cheese and a vegan cheese-like preparation. Raw materials and ingredients have been evaluated (production method and origin; geographical identification), with the aim of identifying simplified food.
An assessment of food supply networks has been carried out. In the first situation (analogue cheeses), the ingredient “cheeses” shows an important complexity: five suppliers with a related six-interconnection hub. On the other side, vegan cheeses are obtained from 11 ingredients (a challenging hub); four of them may be produced from 2–5 components of different origin (five total hubs). Tested processed cheeses are represented by means of a linear food supply network with two hubs (cheeses and “arrival” show degrees 6 and 9, respectively). Networks concerning vegan cheeses include five different hubs: four complex raw materials (degree: 2, 3, 4 and 5) and the “arrival” step (degree: 12).
The information load of vegan cheeses (two hubs, degrees >> average degree) appears high if compared with processed cheeses (two hubs), although the complexity of networks appears similar. Vegan cheeses may seem technologically simpler than processed cheeses and be sometimes questioned because of important traceability issues. Adequate traceability countermeasures in terms of preventive monitoring actions should be recommended when speaking of vegan cheeses. Anyway, a centralized manager would be always required.