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  • What are the benefits of hiring a grant professional?
    There are a number of benefits to working with our grant professionals, including: ​Expert advice: We have experience working with grantors and can help you write a strong grant proposal. Time savings: We can help you save time by doing the research and paperwork for you. Increased chances of approval: We can help you increase your chances of getting your grant application approved.
  • What types of grants do you help clients apply for?
    We help with a variety of grant types, including: ​Government grants awarded by federal, state, and local governments. Foundation grants awarded by private foundations. Corporate grants awarded by businesses. Individual grants awarded by individuals.
  • Do I need nutrition facts on my product label at all?
    It is always a good idea to be clear and honest with your customers, and one way of doing so it to provide nutrition facts. You are never prohibited from including nutrition facts on your packaging, however there are certain foods and businesses that are exempt and others that must provide nutrition facts. Businesses with fewer than 10 full-time employees and less than 10,000 units sold annually are also exempt.
  • How can I get my labels printed?
    If you don't want to take advantage of our exclusive partnership with Avery, you have a few options to think about. First, you can send your label design to a local or online print shop that will print your labels and send them to you. For smaller companies, that's probably the easiest option especially when you're still figuring out how to handle your labels, although may be more expensive for smaller runs. You can print them on your regular home printer using Avery templates, although this can wind up being expensive in the long run and not as professional. If you're just starting out though, this is a great and simple option. You can also buy a label printer to print your own labels. We've partnered with a great company called QuickLabel Systems that sells high quality label printers specifically for food businesses. For smaller runs, you can save a lot of money and gain a ton of flexibility as you finalize your label design by printing in-house. For a more inexpensive option, you can explore a thermal printer from Rollo. We've had many customers have a good experience printing their labels with a Rollo printer.
  • Do you do lab based nutrition analysis?
    We do! We have partnered with a laboratory so we can offer lab-based nutrition analysis to our customers at a discounted rate. It's still much more expensive than database analysis, but there are situations where it makes sense to do a lab-based nutrition analysis instead of using software. Feel free to reach out by email, call (240) 547-4770 if you have any questions on how it works or want to discuss further.
  • What am I required to have on my food product label?
    There are a few things that every food label is required to have, whether or not it has a nutrition fact panel. These are the statement of identity (or the name of the food) and net quantity statement (amount of the product in the package), which both have to be on the principal display panel (usually the front of the package, but can differ depending on the packaging type). Other required statements include the name and address of the manufacturer, packer or distributor, the ingredient list, nutrition labeling (if necessary or desired) and any required allergy labeling (milk, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, soybeans). These last statements can be on the side or information panel.
  • What nutrients are optional and why would I include them?
    Some nutrients are completely optional, and by default they are not included when making a label. However, if you make a claim about a particular nutrient, then it must be included in the nutritional facts, and thus it is no longer optional. In that case, these optional nutrients can be added with a click of your mouse. They can also be added simply if you want to include them on your label. The optional nutrients are: calories from saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, potassium, other carbohydrates, and protein percentage. Additionally, there are a number of optional vitamins (too many to list) which are optional, unless they are added to your product as a supplement or, as always, if a claim is made about the vitamin.
  • Am I required to perform a shelf-life test on my food product?
    Shelf-life testing is not a requirement for most food products, but retailers will often ask for it. So, if you are planning on being in retail stores soon, you should have an idea of your product's shelf-life. On a practical level, you can get a good idea for your product's shelf-life without sending to a lab immediately. Your product's shelf-life is likely very similar to that of some competitors, so that is a first step. You can also perform an informal shelf-life test on your own by storing your product in various temperatures and humidity's and testing it over time.
  • Am I required to perform pH testing on my food product?
    Most foods are not required to be pH tested. The purpose of pH testing is to make sure foods that rely on having a low pH for preservation are safe for consumption. If your food is "acidified" for preservation purposes (e.g. pickled products), then you need to do pH testing. Products such as marinades, sauces, and other liquids should also be pH tested.
  • What does your HACCP services include?
    To develop an HACCP program for your brand, a Taste Symmetry consultant will: 1. Perform a gap analysis on the prerequisite programs needed to support a HACCP plan. This may include Standard Operating Procedures, Standard Sanitation Operating Procedures, supplier approval process, pest prevention, employee training, and more. We will also provide guidance on how to close any gaps. 2. Identify any specialized processes that may require a regulatory variance. We will guide you through the regulatory approval process. 3. Perform a hazard analysis of your food preparation processes. This includes identifying any biological, chemical or physical hazards. 4. Identify critical control points in order to develop monitoring processes, corrective action steps, and documentation to ensure food safety. 5. Create a custom HACCP plan for your operation using the process outlined by the FDA. 6. Develop logs and support documents to manage the HACCP plan. 7. Provide support for training and rollout of the HACCP plan across your organization. 8. The HACCP plan and supporting documents will be provided in an electronic format so that they can be updated as your program continues to change and grow.
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