Roland Koch (55) is Quality Assurance Manager for
all Allos production sites in Drebber, Freiburg and the
German Marketing and Sales Organisation (Allos
Hof-Manufaktur Bremen). He and his team of quality
assurance specialists are responsible for the quality
of more than 500 organic products in the Dairy
Alternatives, Sweet in Betweens, Bread & Biscuit
Alternatives, Breakfast Cereals and Veggie Meals
categories. His team identifies all potential risks
in an overall risk-based analysis plan.
‘This risk-based analysis plan is organised across several axes.
The first axis is the input axis, which is based on a raw materials
plan. All raw materials are tested for taste and structure, as well
as for GMO, salmonella, contamination, etc. The second axis
is the ‘in-between’ axis. The set-up depends on the product
and product range and involves a combination of tests for
consistency, smoothness, pH value, dry matter, and so on.
The third axis is known as the ‘output test’, a test of the stability
depending on the kind of product. Sterilised and pasteurised
end products are placed in a 30-degree incubation room for
one week. After the final tests are made, products can then
be released and launched into the retail channel.’
Born food engineer
Ronald Koch is a food engineer with passion and drive.
He studied Food Technology at the prestigious University of
Munich, where also the best brewery engineers are trained.
But instead of starting his career at one of the big South German
breweries, he decided to join Nestlé as an R&D specialist and
product developer for baby food. In 1995 he switched over to
Tartex – Allos, which was bought by Wessanen in 2001. ‘I think
Wessanen’s unique, sustainable focus on healthy food is
refreshing. In recent years we have developed a tremendous
number of new categories and products. Our playing field is
Only the very best
‘As a quality assurance team and with full support of our Board
we only want the very best products. Superb quality with a great
natural flavour is what we offer. Our products contain no artificial
ingredients and we make sure the quality is consistently high.
Since we only use natural ingredients, this is quite a challenge.
But even with a portfolio of over 500 products we succeed every
day, supported by heavy investments in research facilities.’
Vegetarian product development
‘As a German I really like meat, but at home now we regularly
eat vegetarian meals or taste new products we have developed.
My daughter Barbara, who is 25, has become a real fan of
vegetarian meals. My family has, in fact, been serving as a focus
group for our product development. We develop dozens of new
products each year, based on quality tests and risk assessments.
We conduct hazard analyses, determine critical control points
(CCPs), and establish critical limits and monitoring procedures,
all the way up to verification and documentation procedures.’
‘Another part of my job is to make sure we comply with all
regulations, both from the EU and the IFS Food Standard,
a Global Food Safety Initiative and recognised standard for
auditing food manufacturers. The focus is on food safety
and the quality of processes and products. And as an organic
manufacturer we must act at the highest level of organic
certification checked by special organic certifiers. In fact, I have
the most interesting job at Wessanen, and I’m looking forward
to our future, with leaner production methods and even higher
quality standards for more and more natural products!