Nutella Spreads the Word About Quality

Nutella Spreads the Word About Quality

A quality defect was detected in samples of Nutella spread and Kinder Bueno candy bars that led to a shut down of the Nutella factory in Normandy, France.

Despite the shut down of the factory, which produces one-quarter of the world’s chocolate-hazelnut spread, the supply of Nutella has not been interrupted.  Ferrero, the parent company of Nutella in Italy simply wants to take extra precaution to maintain its high quality standard.


Video Spotlight: Nutella is the driving force of Italy’s richest man


This post is based on the Fortune article, World’s Biggest Nutella Factory Shut Down Over ‘Quality Issues’, by Grace Dobush, February 21, 2019, and the YouTube video, Nutella Driving Force of Italy’s Richest Man, by Bloomberg, May 19, 2014. Image source: lynx/iconotec.com/Glowimages

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the costs related to the decision to shut down the Nutella factory when a quality defect was detected?

Guidance: The potential costs include production interruptions, production delay, quality investigation, scrap, rework, supply disruption, demand shortage, and customer dissatisfaction.

2. What kind of control chart will be appropriate to ensure Nutella’s production process is in control?

Guidance: This question can be used to prompt discussion of Continue reading

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New buzz on drones

New buzz on drones

February 17, 2019

What’s all the buzz about bees?

“Dropcopter” drones mimic bees in California and New York, delivering pollen to apples, almonds, and cherry orchards from ten feet above the trees.

Precise timing and delivery of vital pollens led to 25 to 50 percent increases in yields as well as superior fruit in the first three years of testing.  Whereas bees may opt out of night assignments or stay in when the weather is too cold, Dropcopter drones work at the whim of their operators, pollinating 30 to 40 acres per hour in 25 to 30 minute shifts.

Meanwhile, Australia-based Bee Innovative wants to partner with drone experts in North Dakota to upgrade the drones it uses with its bee tracking technology.

“BeeDar” can track bees as they fly and has bee recognition software to identify types of bees as well as bee disease.  Learning more about how weather and terrain influence bee activity could, the company believes, increase crop yields in the future.


Video Spotlight: Drone pollinates Central New York apple orchard


This post is based on the AOPA article, Drones Deliver Pollen, Better Fruit, by Zach Ryall, January 7, 2019; the MPR News article, Company looks to Continue reading

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Edible Bar Codes on Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner

Edible Bar Codes on Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner

September 29, 2018

Soon you can aim your smart-phone at a piece of beef and have an app display the meat’s entire history, such as where it was raised, what it was fed, and when and where it was processed.

A new electronic etching procedure developed by Pricewaterhouse Coopers creates an invisible, edible barcode made of non-toxic silicon dioxide.  At first, tags will be embedded in the beef’s primary packaging only, but eventually even individual steaks could be tagged.

The technology will be launched first in Australia and China in the upcoming year.  Such measures will help protect branded names for beef as well as keep food supplies safer for consumers, using the new technology to avoid repeats of multiple past food fraud incidents.

This post is based on the Herald Scotland article, Rog Wood: Hi-tech ways to tell us where our food comes from , by Rog Wood, September 3, 2018; and the Telegraph article, Fake steaks to be exposed by invisible barcode scannable on smart-phones, by Henry Bodkin, August 13, 2018. Image source: Image Source/GIPhotoStock.

Discussion Questions:

1. How will the use of invisible barcodes make the supply chain for meat more transparent?

Guidance: In Continue reading

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