Risk Assessment - Articles and news items
Managing allergens remains a substantial task that is of utmost importance to ensure consumer trust is maintained. We pose questions to industry experts from Institute of Food Research, Unilever, SCIEX & Romer Labs…
Barry Callebaut’s François Bourdichon looks at Listeria monocytogenes and what we’ve learned from the last 30 years, while Lilia M. Santiago-Connolly and Raghu Ramaswamy from Heinz look at the need for risk assessment and validation in frozen food manufacturing…
Issue 2 2012 • 30 April 2012 • Matteo Campagnoli, Research Manager, Barilla G&R Fratelli
Nowadays in the food industry, there are innovative technologies with some very interesting applications on an industrial scale and finished products on the market. In spite of this, heat remains the main process used to preserve foods. The aim of this article is to give an overview of the main thermal processes, how they relate to food safety and also to consider the management and the validation of a thermal process.
The main food safety concern related to ambient stable heat treated foods is Clostridium botulinum. Table 1 gives the most reported recent cases of product recalls due to potential contamination from C. botulinum and outbreaks caused by this microorganism. This microorganism is a spore former, highly heat resistant, grows at pH equal or higher than 4.5 and is strictly anaerobic. Therefore, if these microorganisms survive in retorted foods, and the conditions are favourable for growth, they could potentially grow in areas with an absence of oxygen. Once C. botulinum spores germinate, if they are able to generate vegetative cells and these are able to grow, they can produce lethal neurotoxins.
Due to this potential impact on food safety, C. botulinum was studied and a tailored thermal process was designed known as the ‘Botulinum Cook’. The ‘Botulinum Cook’ equals 121.1°C for three minutes, or an equivalent process.
ABF Ingredients ANDEROL EUROPE BV Avantes Berndorf Band GmbH BIOTECON Diagnostics GmbH Cargo Oil AB Elea GmbH Engilico FUCHS LUBRITECH GmbH GLOBALG.A.P. Foodplus GmbH InS Services (UK) Ltd IONICON Analytik GmbH JAX INC. JBT Corporation LUBRIPLATE Lubricants Company NSF International Ocean Optics PCE Instruments UK Ltd R-Biopharm Rhone Ltd Randox Food Diagnostics Stancold SteriBeam The Tintometer® Group TOMRA Sorting Food Uhde High Pressure Technologies GmbH Verner Wheelock Vikan UK Ltd