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Thermal Processing - Articles and news items

Verner Wheelock launches new specialist reaction flavours course

Featured news  •  16 February 2016  •  Verner Wheelock

Food industry training expert Verner Wheelock’s specialist Creating Savoury Flavours course has been attracting delegates from companies around the globe ever since its launch in 2008…

Automation supplement 2013

Issue 5 2013, Supplements  •  4 November 2013  •  W. Jeffrey Hurst, Arthur A. Teixeira

Laboratory automation in food analysis (Author: W. Jeffrey Hurst, Hershey Company)
Automation in the food canning industry (Author: Arthur A. Teixeira, University of Florida)

Thermal processing in the food industry

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.

 

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