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15046344 Extension of Product ShelfLife

15046344 Extension of Product ShelfLife

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  • 1:Introduction
  • 1.1: Shelf Life
  • 1.2: Why Extend Shelf Life?
  • 1.3: Other Considerations
  • 1.4: Scope
  • 1.5: Benchmarking
  • 2:Extending Shelf Life? Safety Points to Consider
  • 3:Legislation
  • 3.1: Primary Legislation
  • 3.2: Secondary Legislation (Regulations)
  • EC Legislation
  • 4:Conventional Technologies Extension of Shelf Life
  • 4.1: Introduction
  • 4.2: Hurdle Technology
  • 4.3: Heat Preservation
  • 4.3.1:Ohmic heating
  • 4.3.2:Microwave heating
  • 4.3.3:Other emerging heating technologies
  • 4.4.1:Deep chilling
  • 4.4.2:Other emerging refrigeration technologies
  • 4.5: Drying
  • 4.5.1:Microwave drying
  • 4.5.2:Heat pump drying
  • 5:‘New’ Processing Technologies
  • 5.1: High Pressure Processing
  • 5.2: Irradiation
  • 5.3: Natural Food Preservatives
  • 5.3.1:Natural antimicrobials
  • 5.3.2: Natural antioxidants
  • 5.4: Other Developing Technologies
  • 5.4.1: Pulsed electric field
  • 5.4.2: Pulsed white light
  • 5.4.3:Ultra-violet light, pulsed ultra-violet light
  • 5.5: Further Reading
  • 6:Packaging
  • 6.1: Map
  • 6.2: Active Packaging
  • 7:Decontamination Techniques
  • 7.1: Introduction
  • 7.2: Chemical Techniques
  • 7.2.1:General considerations
  • 7.2.4:Chlorine (hypochlorite)
  • 7.2.5:Dimethyl dichloride
  • 7.2.6:Hydrogen peroxide
  • 7.2.7:Organic acids
  • 7.2.9:Other chemicals that may have a role as decontaminants
  • 7.3: Thermal Techniques
  • 7.4: Other Technologies
  • 7.5: Sources of Further Information
  • 8:The Food Production Environment: Impact on Shelf Life
  • 8.1: Sourcing of Ingredients
  • 8.2: Storage of Ingredients
  • 8.3: Processing Areas
  • 8.3.1:Processing equipment
  • 8.4: Clean Room Technology
  • 8.5: Cleaning Technology
  • 8.5.1:Traditional cleaning methods
  • 8.5.2:Clean in place (CIP) systems
  • 8.5.3: Novel cleaning methods
  • 8.5.4:Ultra-violet light
  • 8.5.5:Solid carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • 9.1: Visual Inspection
  • 9.2: Traditional Swab/ Plate Methods
  • 9.3: Rapid Hygiene Monitoring
  • 9.3.2:Colour hygiene tests
  • 10: Estimating Shelf Life and the Use of Predictive Models
  • 10.1: Models Currently Available
  • 10.1.1: Combase
  • 10.1.2: Forecast
  • 10.1.3: Food Spoilage Predictor
  • 10.1.4: Seafood Spoilage Predictor
  • 10.1.5: ERH-CALC™
  • 10.1.6: Coolvan
  • 10.1.7: Water Analyzer Series
  • 10.2: Frozen Food Models
  • 10.3: Accelerated Shelf Life Testing
  • 11: Sources of Further Information

Extension of Product Shelf-life for the Food Processor

A strategic report compiled for the Food Processing Faraday by the Scientific and Technical Information Section, Leatherhead Food International.

1: Introduction
1.1: 1.2: 1.3: 1.4: 1.5: Shelf Life Why Extend Shelf Life? Other Considerations Scope Benchmarking

1 1 1 2 2 3 4 5 5 5 6 6 6 7 8 8 9 9 Deep chilling Other emerging refrigeration technologies Microwave drying Heat pump drying 9 10 10 11 11 13 13 15 17 17 19 20 20 20 21 21 22 22 24 24 26 28 28 28

2: 3:

Extending Shelf Life? Safety Points to Consider Legislation
3.1: 3.2: Primary Legislation Secondary Legislation (Regulations)


Conventional Technologies Extension of Shelf Life
4.1: 4.2: 4.3: Introduction Hurdle Technology Heat Preservation 4.3.1: 4.3.2: 4.3.3: 4.4: Cooling 4.4.1: 4.4.2: 4.5: Drying 4.5.1: 4.5.2: Ohmic heating Microwave heating Other emerging heating technologies


‘New’ Processing Technologies
5.1: 5.2: 5.3: High Pressure Processing Irradiation Natural Food Preservatives 5.3.1: 5.3.2: 5.4: 5.4.1: 5.4.2: 5.4.3: 5.4.4: 5.4.5: 5.5: Natural antimicrobials Natural antioxidants Pulsed electric field Pulsed white light Ultra-violet light, pulsed ultra-violet light Ultrasound Combinations of preservation technologies with potential

Other Developing Technologies

Further Reading


6.1: 6.2: Map Active Packaging


Decontamination Techniques
7.1: 7.2: Introduction Chemical Techniques

7.2.1: 7.2.2: 7.2.3: 7.2.4: 7.2.5: 7.2.6: 7.2.7: 7.2.8: 7.2.9: 7.3: 7.3.1: 7.3.2: 7.3.3: 7.4: 7.5

General considerations Water Ozone Chlorine (hypochlorite) Dimethyl dichloride Hydrogen peroxide Organic acids Peracetic (peroxyacetic) acid Other chemicals that may have a role as decontaminants Hot water Steam Steam vacuum

28 28 29 29 30 31 31 32 32 34 34 34 35 35 36 37 37 37 37 38 38 38 39 39 40 40 41 41 43 43 43 43 43 44 46 46 46 46 46 47 47 47 47 47 48 49

Thermal Techniques

Other Technologies Sources of Further Information


The Food Production Environment: Impact on Shelf Life
8.1: 8.2: 8.3: Sourcing of Ingredients Storage of Ingredients Processing Areas 8.3.1: 8.3.2: 8.4: 8.5: Processing equipment Ventilation

Clean Room Technology Cleaning Technology 8.5.1: 8.5.2: 8.5.3: 8.5.4: 8.5.5: Traditional cleaning methods Clean in place (CIP) systems Novel cleaning methods Ultra-violet light Solid carbon dioxide (CO2)


Hygiene Monitoring - How efficient is cleaning?
9.1: 9.2: 9.3: Visual Inspection Traditional Swab/Plate Methods Rapid Hygiene Monitoring 9.3.1: 9.3.2: ATP kits Colour hygiene tests


Estimating Shelf Life and the Use of Predictive Models
10.1: Models Currently Available 10.1.1: 10.1.2: 10.1.3: 10.1.4: 10.1.5: 10.1.6: 10.1.7: 10.2: 10.3: Combase Forecast Food Spoilage Predictor Seafood Spoilage Predictor ERH-CALC™ Coolvan Water Analyzer Series

Frozen Food Models Accelerated Shelf Life Testing


Sources of Further Information

1: Introduction
This report was commissioned by the Food Processing Faraday in response to the identification of a need for information on the subject of shelf life extension among its members and other stakeholders. The Faraday also consulted with Regional Technology Transfer Centres (RTTCs) during the commissioning of the report. The RTTCs comments emphasised the need for the report to address the particular needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The content and presentation of the report have been strongly influenced by these comments, and the result is aimed very much at smaller food processing operations.

• • •

Transfer of odours or flavours (e.g. tainting or flavour loss) Changes caused by exposure to light (e.g. loss of colour) Physical damage to packaging

These mechanisms are controlled by a number of factors, which may be product related (intrinsic), or environmental and process related (extrinsic). For example: Intrinsic factors: • • • • • The composition and formulation of the product Product structure Moisture content and water activity pH and acidity Level of oxygen and redox potential

1.1: Shelf Life
The Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) defines the shelf life of a food as “The period of time under defined conditions of storage, after manufacture or packing, for which a food product will remain safe and be fit for use.” (It is important to note that this definition places safety before any other consideration) Every food product has a shelf life, because all foods deteriorate, albeit at very different rates and in different ways, and become unsafe or unpalatable. For example, fresh fish begins to deteriorate almost immediately, even at chill temperatures, due to the action of enzymes in the flesh and rapid microbial growth. On the other hand, fully sterilised canned foods may remain fit for consumption for several years.

Extrinsic factors: • • • • • • • Storage temperature Relative humidity Exposure to light Gaseous atmosphere Processing Hygiene Packaging

Knowledge of how these factors, individually or in combination, affect the sensory, physical, chemical and microbiological characteristics of a food helps us to understand what limits its shelf life. But the same understanding also opens up the possibility to influence product shelf life by manipulating one or more factors. This is the basis of food preservation. In other words, the intrinsic and extrinsic factors above can be used by the food processor to extend the shelf life of products.

Examples of the mechanisms that limit shelf life include: • • • • Chemical or biochemical changes (e.g. browning, rancidity) Microbiological growth and metabolism Moisture migration into, or out of, the product Gas transfer (e.g. ingress of oxygen)

1.2: Why Extend Shelf Life?
There is clearly no point in investigating potentially expensive technical solutions for shelf life extension unless the end result represents a commercial advantage. In fact, in some cases, shelf life extension could be a positive disadvantage. For example, foods marketed as ‘fresh’ that have a shelf life of


three or four weeks may not be well received by the consumer. Some of the potential benefits of extending shelf life are obvious, some less so. For example: • • • • • • • • • Product can remain on sale on the shelf for longer Consumers favour products that ‘keep well’ Fewer consumer complaints More efficient production planning Improved stock rotation Reduced wastage and product returns from retailers More extensive product distribution is possible Highly seasonal products can be stockpiled Most retailers require food deliveries to have at least 75% of shelf life remaining • New legislation (e.g. Animal ByProducts Regulations) identifies some product that has exceeded its useby-date as ‘waste’ requiring expensive controlled disposal Generally speaking, extension shelf life is more likely to be of benefit for highly perishable foods that are required to carry a ‘use by’ date. Many of those advantages listed above can be achieved with an increase in shelf life of just one or two days for some foods. Nevertheless, more durable products that need only display a ‘best before date’ may also benefit.

now favoured and valued by consumers, and therefore by retailers. This means that many food processors will increasingly have to look to new technology and more sophisticated processing methods to maintain their position in the market.

1.4: Scope
The aim of this report is to provide processors with practical information to help them to find appropriate technology that they can exploit to gain all the benefits of extended shelf life. Some food preservation methods (e.g. drying and salting) have been in use for thousands of years, and were probably developed to serve the then vital purpose of ensuring that food collected in times of plenty could still be consumed when times were hard. Other methods (e.g. canning and mechanical freezing) have been available for many decades and hardly qualify as new technology. It is not the purpose of this report to provide an exhaustive review of all food preservation methods. The focus is on innovative new technologies, or recent developments in existing (conventional) technologies, particularly those that are, or may eventually be, of use to the smaller food processor. The emphasis is on new practical developments that smaller companies may be able to use, now or in the near future, to obtain real benefits in extended shelf life. Neither does this report go into great technical detail about the technologies described. The aim is to supply an overview in each case, to outline the potential applications, and to highlight the benefits and drawbacks of each processing technology. Wherever possible, the interested reader is directed to sources of further information throughout the report.

1.3: Other Considerations
Some of the more traditional methods of extending the shelf life of foods are becoming increasingly unpopular. For example, many consumers do not want foods made safe and stable by the addition of high concentrations of salt or sugar, or by the use of chemical preservatives. The regulatory authorities too are beginning to look closely at the salt content of foods from a human health point of view. It is minimally processed foods that are


• • • • • Number of consumer complaints due to product failure Quantity of product remaining unsold at end of shelf life Extent of product failure in the distribution and retail chain Typical shelf life of competitors products Degree to which shelf life influences production scheduling Carried out over a period of several months.1.5: Benchmarking Before investigating the potential for extending product shelf life and the technology that might be used to achieve it. This exercise can also be used to define the baseline. The information collected will be vital for formulating a business case to extend shelf life. from which the extent of those benefits can be measured. 3 . this exercise should provide sufficient data to determine whether shelf life extension will provide benefits and to help quantify those benefits. it can be a very worthwhile exercise to review the performance of a product to determine whether an extension will provide significant benefits. This can be done relatively easily by monitoring key indicators that are directly related to shelf life.

but also because they are often vulnerable to contamination with food poisoning bacteria during production. that may be present in chilled foods in low numbers. 4 . ambient stored. but which have been linked to severe foodborne illness when the conditions in the food are favourable for these organisms to increase in numbers.g. a qualified food microbiologist). Extending the shelf life of chilled products could give enough time for dangerous levels to be reached. Salmonella. There are other species. Food processors must ensure that they have access to adequate expertise to do this effectively (e. and these should be absent from all ready-to-eat products. Food processors must be aware that when the shelf life of a product is extended. microbiological safety issues are by no means limited to the chilled sector.2: Extending Shelf Life? Safety Points to Consider For many ambient stable and frozen food products shelf life is determined by a loss in quality leading to the product becoming unacceptable to the consumer. modifiedatmosphere-packaged. Both of these bacteria are able to grow. This is partly because many chilled foods undergo minimal processing that may not destroy microorganisms. it is possible that the additional time on the shelf could allow food poisoning organisms to grow to dangerous levels This problem is most likely to occur in the chilled food sector. Some microorganisms can cause foodborne illness when present in very low numbers (e. No extended shelf life product should be launched onto the market before the safety implications are fully understood and under control. coli O157]). But in some cases.g. part-baked bread products may produce an environment in which Clostridium botulinum (the organism that causes botulism) can multiply. The effect of the changes on product safety could be significant and so the HACCP plan for the product must be completely reviewed. at chilled temperatures. For example. However. albeit slowly. It is also possible that changes in processing could allow other hazards (chemical or physical) to be present in the finished product. It is vital that such possibilities are considered when an extended shelf life product is developed. the development of long shelf life. This possibility has to be taken into account when such products are in development. notably certain strains of Clostridium botulinum and Listeria monocytogenes. and verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli [a group that includes E. it can be the microbiological safety of the food that is the most important factor when determining shelf life. particularly for chilled foods.

2: Secondary Legislation (Regulations) There are a number of food Regulations that may have an impact on the development of extended shelf life products. • • • • • • • Composition Novel Ingredients Additives Contaminants Processing and Packaging Labelling Hygiene 5 . The Regulations covering the following areas may apply.eu. the application of many of these is limited by law.uk/ enforcement/ foodlaw/ Leatherhead Food International http://www. (Note: from 1/1/05.co. Relevant food law is spread across a number of specific pieces of legislation.campden.uk/services/ legislation/ legislation.) 3.htm 3.1: Primary Legislation The principal piece of primary legislation applying in the UK is the Food Safety Act 1990. The following represents a brief outline of the legislation that may apply.foodstandards. 178/2002) will come into force that applies harmonised provisions for food safety requirements.com/ Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association http://www. These are essentially equivalent to the provisions already afforded by the UK’s Food Safety Act 1990. but it is important to obtain expert advice wherever necessary. new EU legislation (Regulation (EC) No. and these cannot be covered comprehensively in this report. Although there are many possible methods of obtaining a longer shelf life for a specific food product.int/index_en.leatherheadfood.gov.3: Legislation It is important to be aware of the framework of food legislation that applies to many of the technologies included in this report. Any extended shelf life product must first of all comply with the requirements of the Act in that it must not be ‘injurious to health’. and must be fit for human consumption. and should be considered early in the development process.htm EC Legislation http://europa. Sources of further information The Food Standards Agency http://www.

4. such as heating. or the addition of a preservative. high salt or acid levels. The safety of some foods can also be compromised (e. 6 . are under particular pressure from changing consumer preferences. and heavily heat processed foods. • • • • Heat preservation Cooling Drying Chemical preservation These four basic categories cover an enormous range of preserved food products that at first appear to be preserved by a similarly wide range of methods. organic acids and esters. Drying – traditional drying (e.1: Introduction The shelf life of a wide range of foods has been successfully extended using ‘traditional methods’ for decades. acidification. redox potential. These technologies are very well established. The concept is applied mainly to microbiological spoilage of relatively short shelf life foods. but will not be able to ‘jump’ over all the hurdles present. retorting and canning. For example: Heat preservation – pasteurisation. Chemical preservation – pickling. but a small reduction in pH.g. One solution to this problem is to use a number of different preservation technologies in combination to exploit the ‘hurdle effect’. We can refer to these methods as ‘conventional technologies’. and in some cases thousands of years. For example. have remained fundamentally unchanged for many years. may then be sufficient to inhibit their growth. Manufacturers therefore need to adapt to these changes by adopting less severe solutions. and their effectiveness is therefore greater than would be expected by simply adding their respective effects together. jams). salting. Hurdle technology relies on the fact that preservation factors. and chemical preservatives often have a synergistic effect in combination. but for more information on the traditional food preservation techniques you are referred to the ‘further reading’ list on page 50. nitrite in meat curing. and the idea is that the spoilage microbes may be able to overcome one or more factors (hurdles).4: Conventional Technologies Extension of Shelf Life 4.g. air drying). water activity. These conventional technologies are not dealt with in detail here. by reduction in salt or preservative concentrations). and be able to grow at low moisture levels. This means that the market for foods preserved by traditional methods is changing. and they almost all fall into one of the following categories: The following section deals with some recent developments within those four conventional technologies that are predicted to make a commercial impact in the near future. pH. and sales of ‘minimally processed’ foods are growing steadily. almost all of these methods can be placed in to one of the above categories. aseptic processing. However. Cooling – freezing and chilling. but this clearly means developing products that may have a seriously reduced shelf life. atmosphere. conserving (e. and although continuously refined. they may survive pasteurisation. and in some cases. mechanical drying.g. from changes in the attitude of the regulatory authorities. addition of sulphites.2: Hurdle Technology Modern consumers are moving away from heavily processed foods in favour of products that appear fresh and natural. Foods that utilise chemical preservatives. traditional cooking processes. baking.

& Gould. For example. but maximising the destruction of bacteria. L.3: Heat Preservation 7 . Recent developments in thermal processing have concentrated on minimising damage to the sensory characteristics of the product. For some products. and it can be applied effectively by both large and small organisations. but a large proportion of the microflora may survive. thus minimising loss of quality. in a sterile environment. (UHT) and high temperature short time (HTST) processes in combination with aseptic filling processes has helped to overcome these problems.g. some canned meats can be made using lower quality raw materials because the severe heat process improves palatability. but other systems are employed for a range of products. 4. bottles. such as soups. prolonged heating at high temperature is not a problem. more delicate products. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. The processes concerned range from very mild heat treatments (e. However. 2002. G. sauces. which now occupies a very small section of the market. New York. Sources of more information The development of ultra high temperature Hurdle technologies: combination treatments for food stability. dairy products and fruit juices can be badly affected by thermal processing. Commercial temperatures (130-145 °C). as is demonstrated by products such as sterilised milk retorted in bottles. all heat preservation processes extend shelf life by the destruction of microorganisms and/or by the deactivation of enzymes in fresh foods that could cause spoilage. Leistner. often for just a few seconds. The Tetra Pak system is one of the best examples of this approach.Examples of food products that apply hurdle technology to extend shelf life: sterilisation processes on the other hand are designed to destroy all the microorganisms that would be able to grow in the finished product under the conditions in which it is stored and distributed. UHT processes achieve commercial sterility by heating product (usually liquids) to very high In essence. This can be considerable.. thermisation of raw milk) to very severe commercial sterilisation processes applied to some canned foods. pouches etc. but without referring to it as hurdle technology. For some canned foods that are intended for export to hot climates this could mean applying a heat process equivalent to 121 °C for 25-30 minutes at the slowest heating point in an individual pack. • • • • • Cooked cured meat products Chilled fruit juices Reduced sugar jams and spreads Reduced fat spreads Mild flavour pickles and sauces An understanding of hurdle technology is particularly useful in product design. The product is then cooled rapidly and filled into cartons. safety and quality. and holding at that temperature for a very short time. Thermisation and processes destroy a proportion of the heat sensitive microorganisms in a product and increase the time to spoilage. The essential questions that need to be asked at the product design stage are: What hurdles do I have in my product? How high are they? This is something that many food processors have in effect been doing for some time. By describing the process in this way it becomes much easier to apply to new products in a structured and formal way that can be documented and reviewed.W. Whereas a thermisation process may be only 65 °C for 15-20 seconds followed by rapid cooling. This means that the product remains at high temperature for the shortest possible time.

g. such as meat pieces or diced vegetables.S. de-aeration. New York. even when quite large particulates are present.apv. 2001. especially for products containing solid components. heating.ac.com/HeatExchangers/ ohmicheating.3.. They fit into the spectrum somewhere between infrared radiation and radio waves. Cambridge Woodhead Publishing Ltd. The amount of heat that can be applied depends on how much variation in conductivity exists in the product and by the residence time. 521-532.bham. Various applications for ohmic heating have been investigated..uk/L. but take-up in Europe is quite limited so far. Handbook of food preservation. Although microwave heating has been in use for many years in domestic and catering environments.htm 4. which in simple terms involves the conversion of electrical energy into heat by making water molecules in the food oscillate rapidly in an electric field that changes direction.J. Ohmic heating..htm 4.S..These systems lend themselves to liquid products. Chen P. Microwaves generate heat by dielectric heating. The result is a rapid heating process that can penetrate food quite effectively. Advantages Microwaves are electromagnetic waves with a wavelength that can be measured in centimetres. Ruan R. Marcel Dekker.Davies/work/ overview/sld001. The heating rate is determined by the voltage applied and by the electrical conductivity of the product.1: Ohmic heating Birmingham Uni presentation on Ohmic Ohmic heating generates heat by passing an alternating electric current through a food that has electrical resistance. including continuous pasteurisation and sterilisation processes allied to aseptic filling. the best established commercial use of microwave heating is the tempering of frozen meat to temperatures just below the freezing point to allow dicing or slicing prior to Preserving foods with electricity: ohmic heating. Sources of further information APV ohmic heating. Some examples of such processing technologies are as follows: Drawbacks • • Capital cost of equipment Need to control product conductivity by formulation and pre-processing (e. Heat is generated directly and there is no need to transfer heat into the food through a surface. http://www. It therefore has a lot of potential for liquid foods containing solids. such as soups and sauces. Rahman M. Ready-meals and pasta are processed in this way in Japan. Rahman M. It has the potential to produce heat evenly through all the components in a product. Doona C. but are much more difficult to apply to foods containing solids. Recent processing technology developments have focused on further improving in-container and aseptic systems for heat-processed foods. 1999. Ye X.J. http://web.2: Microwave heating • • • • Very energy efficient Reduced risk of fouling Rapid heating (heating rates of up to 1 °C per second) Easy process control 8 .3. Thermal technologies in food processing. Taub I. The molecules alternately absorb energy and then release it into the food. 241-265. Richardson P.

Enzymic spoilage and oxidative rancidity are also able to proceed at temperatures well below freezing. 4.com/industrydocs/ffe21296. For example.K. Sources of further information Industrial Microwave Systems http://www.3: Other emerging heating technologies Infrared (IR) heating Radiation in the infrared part of the spectrum can be used to heat the surface layers of foods very rapidly and efficiently.4: Cooling The refrigeration of foods is a well established technology first developed over 100 years ago. Datta A.flair-flow. Commercial pasteurisation processes have also been investigated. • • Rapid and relatively even heating Ease of process control Drawbacks • Capital cost of equipment Both chilling and freezing extend the shelf life of foods by slowing or completely preventing spoilage by microorganisms. Anantheswaran R.htm Handbook of microwave technology for food applications.4. cost effectiveness.industrialmicrowave. Advantages including blanching of vegetables. 2000. However.further processing. an AAIR project. baking.. RF heating is rapid and even and has been investigated for a number of applications. Radio frequency heating Radio frequency (RF) heating uses electromagnetic radiation at wavelengths longer than those of microwaves and heats mainly by dielectric heating at lower temperatures. The low temperatures in chilled food processing environments suit these organisms well and they can colonise processing equipment. and application of both chilling and freezing processes. 4.3. speed. and enzymic and chemical reactions. or grilling processes. Very large joints of meat can be tempered evenly in hours or even minutes rather than days by conventional methods. drying applications and post-baking of snack foods. and the chilled food sector has been expanding rapidly since the domestic refrigerator came into widespread use in the 1950s and 60s. Refrigeration technology has been continuously developed over the decades to improve the control. and is used in roasting. even at chill temperatures many spoilage bacteria are still able to grow quite rapidly (psychrotrophic bacteria). Frozen foods have been commercially produced for about 80 years. and 9 .1: Deep chilling ‘Deep chilling’ involves cooling a food to a temperature just above its freezing point. there are disadvantages with both processes. New York Marcel Dekker. but increasingly by electrical conductivity heating as the temperature rises. Recent developments have also focused on improvements in quality and extension of shelf life. For example the baking of biscuits can be done more rapidly using an IR system. Some examples are as follows: 4. Freezing processes can cause textural damage to foods when ice crystals form within cells in the food during freezing and damage their structure. Most foods freeze at temperatures below 0 °C.C.com/ FLAIR-FLOW II (F-FE 212/96): Microwave sterilisation. thawing and pasteurisation of meat. http://www. and these may still cause spoilage and reduce shelf life significantly.

The technique involves partially dehydrating the product to a moisture content low enough (around 30% for vegetables) so that it does not freeze when cooled to -20 °C. Dehydrofreezing Advantages Dehydrofreezing combines drying and freezing • Storage life can be extended significantly. such as ready meals and cooked meats. but without ice crystals being formed in the food. Rehydration times are also substantially less than for conventional dried products. • The risk from the growth of psychrotrophic food poisoning bacteria is almost completely eliminated. and it is this that is the key factor in preservation. It is a very useful way of ensuring that large amounts of stock can be built up and stored before being released into the chill chain to meet fluctuating demand. Drawbacks • • • Increased refrigeration and energy costs. although the processing and storage costs are also correspondingly high. General improvements in freezing technology may allow the same approach to be applied to other high value foods in the future.uk/frperc. Deep chilling is used commercially to extend the storage life of some chilled foods. as is its volume. Furthermore. Removing the moisture from a food product has the effect of reducing its water activity (the amount of water available in the product).5: Drying Drying foods to preserve them is one of the oldest technologies in use in the food industry. 4.ac. Sources of further information Food Refrigeration and Process Engineering Research Centre http://www. even psychrotrophic microorganisms grow only very slowly. Energy and transport cost benefits can also be achieved by dehydrofreezing. and is said to give a higher quality product than conventional freezing. At these temperatures.4. the time for microbiological spoilage to occur is greatly extended. Once the water activity falls below about 0. Potential freshness and flavour loss during storage. Super freezing is used commercially in Japan for some fish products to achieve higher quality. particularly oily fish such as tuna. the growth of psychrotrophic food poisoning organisms such as Listeria is effectively prevented below 0 °C.2: Other emerging refrigeration technologies Super freezing Super freezing refers to storage temperatures in the range -40 to -60 °C. or not at all. no microbial growth is possible and so microbial spoilage does not 10 .bris. Storage at this temperature has been found to give significant improvement in quality for some high value products.frperc. as is shelf life. Very accurate temperature control is required to avoid accidental freezing. The method is used mainly for vegetables and fruits. Therefore. Dehydrofreezing differs from freeze-drying in that the product is not frozen under vacuum. in a single process to produce improvements in colour flavour and texture for some foods at low cost.therefore deep chilling may achieve temperatures significantly lower than those typically found in the chill chain. The ‘cook chill’ system operates on the same principle. which is considerably lower than conventional freezing (-20 to -30 °C). The life of some products may be extended by several weeks.htm 4.6. since the products weight is reduced.

and fluidised-bed dryers. belt dryers. For example.industrialmicrowave.5.. and a large number of conventional drying systems have been developed. Heat pump dryers are used widely for drying wood. Mujumdar A. Partial drying can also result in considerable increases in shelf life. 2000.3 or less. fish and fish products. Mujumdar A. to prevent browning and microbial growth. Conventional heat exchangers can be combined with heat pumps to improve the efficiency considerably. and is said to give improvements in taste and texture and less shrinkage than conventional dryers.5. The dry cool air is then passed through a condenser. At this level. This means that microwave dryers do not need to rely on heating by conduction and on the establishment of moisture gradients in the food.85. and it is usually combined with other drying 11 . For example. Nevertheless.2: Heat pump drying Heat pump dryers operate by cooling warm Two comparatively recent developments in drying technology are: wet air drawn from the dryer over an evaporator coil. achieved by removal of water and consequent concentration of sugars in the fruit.com/ Principles and applications of microwave drying. 4. fruit and vegetables. both of which limit the efficiency of conventional dryers. Enfield Science Publishers. 253-289. Drying technology has been continuously refined for many years. Raghavan G. which cools the air to below its dew point.. Reduced water activity also inhibits chemical and enzymic spoilage. technologies.S. where it is re-heated before being passed through the dryer where it picks up more moisture from the product. Drying technology in agriculture and food sciences. but have also been investigated for drying pet foods. many dried fruits have a final water activity of between 0. only limited by gradual flavour loss. Water condenses on the coil and runs away. Many conventionally dried products have a final water activity of 0. microwave drying is slow when used in isolation. Fruits such as dried apricots need to be treated with quite large concentrations of sulphur dioxide. 4. and products such as dried herbs and spices may have a shelf life of a year or more. including drum dryers. Advantages • • • • Improved sensory characteristics Potentially rapid heating and drying Reduced energy consumption Reduced running costs Drawbacks • • Capital cost of equipment Possible product damage through the formation of ‘hotspots’ during drying Sources of further information Industrial Microwave Systems http://www. Different drying systems are best suited to particular products.6 and 0. in practice. some moulds (xerophilic moulds) are able to grow and cause spoilage.1: Microwave drying Microwave drying technology relies on the fact that water molecules in food absorb energy from microwaves and generate heat evenly throughout the product.S. many dried dairy products are produced by spray drying. such as forced air convection or vacuum drying.occur. and confectionery.S. minimising processing costs and loss of product quality. and diced vegetables are well suited to fluidised bed drying. spray dryers. The principal aim of all drying systems is to remove moisture from the product rapidly and efficiently. Microwave drying has been applied to dried pet foods. Sanga E.

heatpumpcentre.Advantages • • • • Can operate at lower temperatures.org/ 12 . or more rapidly than conventional dryers Improved product quality Energy efficient Reduced processing costs Drawbacks • • • Capital cost of equipment Low drying temperatures may allow microbial growth during drying Potentially difficult to clean Sources of further information IEA Heat Pump Programme http://www.

These can be useful and desirable. which means that. • HPP may be used in combination with other techniques.they include high-pressure processing. such as sulphite. For example. which eliminates the need for additional aseptic packaging processes. High-pressure processing and irradiation are the only ones that have been developed commercially to any extent and. • If the applied pressure is sufficiently high. many processors are seeking to minimise or avoid the use of conventional preservatives. Modification of the surface active properties of proteins. such as heat. Pressures of around 300 to 700 MPa (3. Generally there is no permanent change in the shape or appearance of the foodstuff. 5. • HPP can be used for in-pack foods in flexible packaging.000-7. Although the process is usually described as ‘cold’. Faster thawing of frozen foods. irradiation and manipulation of pH. are considered here. treatment is as effective at the centre of the mass of meat as it is near the surface. Pressure is applied by means of a piston or a pump. together with microwave and pulsed electric field processing. • Since the chemical effects of HPP are different from those of heat (heat disrupts covalent bonds and HPP affects hydrophobic and ionic bonds). and high-strength magnetic field pulses. texture. oil. • Pressure is transmitted uniformly through a food product. In addition.000 times the pressure of the atmosphere) are applied to a food product for a short time. The food is placed in a pressure-transmitting medium. The potential of a number of processing technologies has been investigated .5: ‘New’ Processing Technologies Traditional thermal processes can be harsh and have an adverse effect on the sensory properties and nutritional value of foods. fish and egg-white proteins. HPP has a number of unexpected and interesting functional effects. colour and nutrient contents. ‘New’ processing technologies based on physical techniques for food preservation have the potential to address some of the demands of the consumer and deliver high-quality processed foods with an extended shelf-life that are additive-free and have not been subjected to extensive heat treatment. case of a ham for example. high-intensity laser and noncoherent light pulses. It undergoes about 15% compression. nitrite and sorbate. all vegetative microbial cells and spores may potentially be inactivated. or alcohol contained in a vessel of sufficient strength to withstand the pressures applied during the process. such as water. electroporation. to achieve what has been described as ‘cold pasteurisation’. which is • Inactivation of vegetative microorganisms can be achieved without detrimental effects on flavour.1: High Pressure Processing High Pressure processing (HPP) is also known as high-hydrostatic pressure (HHP) or ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) processing. The process offers a number of advantages over conventional thermal food processes: Outline of the HPP process HPP processing can be applied to foods before or after packaging. Induction of a cooked appearance to meat. in the 13 . the application of pressure does cause a very small increase in temperature. • • • • Enhanced digestibility of meat proteins. to provide enhanced inactivation. particularly on proteins.

In-line systems can only be used for pumpable products such as juices. Staphylococcus aureus appears to have a high resistance to pressure. Bacteria vary in their pressure resistance. usually with little damage to the structure. However. whilst others may actually be stimulated.recovered when the pressure is removed. The process is likely to prove very costly. However. these treatments are not sufficient to reduce levels of mycotoxins such as patulin. for example 90110 °C and 500-700 MPa. which must be pre-packaged. the meat industry has not yet invested in HPP to any great extent. are most resistant to pressure. Pressure cycling treatments have also proved effective. and also promotes protein denaturation. Enzymes associated with spoilage can cause deterioration in appearance and taste. Careful process design has enabled manufacturers to develop novel fruit products. have been shown to be inactivated by a few minutes of treatment at pressures of about 400 MPa. Bacterial spores. since pressure can bring about changes in the functional properties of milk proteins. such as cooked ham and salami. interest in HPP processing of dairy products continues. together with factors that affect In addition to inactivation of bacteria. emulsifying and gelling properties of milk proteins. HPP has been successfully applied to ready-to-eat meats. Applications Fruits HPP can enable the retention of the bright natural colours. Generally. Taste and 14 . has been shown to inactivate spores of Clostridium botulinum in certain food systems. The effects of HPP on shelf life The chemical and microbiological effects of HPP depend on a number of factors. textural properties and attractive taste of fresh fruits for an extended period. HPP is most effective at inactivating bacterium at acid pH values. Batch systems can handle both liquid and solid products. Research has shown that high pressure affects different enzymes in different ways. Gram-negative vegetative bacteria are less resistant to pressure than vegetative Gram-positive cells. In addition. HPP is unlikely to be able to compete with heat treatments for the safe production of milk. However. such as fruit pieces in clear juice gel and whole berries in syrup. from the point of view of cost. particularly for cheese processing and the modification of the foaming. microbial pressure resistance. Some enzymes may be partially or completely inactivated. spoilage will occur. Shellfish To ensure the safety of food treated in this manner it is essential that the effectiveness of HPP on microbial inactivation be studied in detail. HPP affects the sensory characteristics of raw meat. particularly Clostridium spores. In particular. Conventional batch processing systems were the first to become available. The effects on relevant enzyme systems must also be investigated. Yeasts and moulds. Meat Although HPP offers the potential to inactivate food poisoning bacteria such as Listeria. however. Milk and dairy products These react well to HPP treatment. One of the most well known commercial applications of HPP is the production of longlife guacamole. and unless these enzymes are inactivated. Salmonella and Escherichia coli. oysters and shellfish that have been subjected to HPP are extremely easy to shuck. Combining pressure with heat treatment. which generally cause food spoilage rather than illness. the most important being process temperature and treatment time.

salsa. In the US. comprising high-pressure processed guacamole. The fillings are packed in a flexible pack.2: Irradiation In spite of a huge body of evidence to support its effectiveness. Stansted Fluid Power (UK). Elmhurst Research (US). do not have to be used within a day or two of delivery. www. Sources of further information Avure Technologies AB Avure Technologies AB suggests that HPP technology can contribute to savings for sandwich producers. However. since final approval for the irradiation of red meat was granted by the USDA in 2000. Ready meals/sandwiches Also on sale in the US are high-quality fajita kits. unlike conventional products. consumer resistance has discouraged the development of food applications of irradiation in Europe..org Research Groups working on HPP Food Quality Group. and Unipress (Poland). UHDE Hochdrucktechnik (Germany). fresh peppers and onions. The Company says that its technology could extend the shelf life of fresh cooked meat fillings and wet fillings by a factor of between 2 and 4.appearance are claimed to be unaffected. ACB Pressure System-Alstom and Kobe Steel are the most important equipment producers at present. The packaged sandwich fillings can be kept in a cold store by the producer and.avure. and then processed. Drawbacks • • • • High capital investment and operating costs Some bacterial spores and enzymes may survive HPP processes Long and complex development procedures needed for new products Currently a ‘niche market’ process Manufacturers of HPP equipment Flow International Corp. In microorganisms. ‘Gold Band Oysters’ are on sale in the US. 15 . University of Strathclyde Basic Strategic Research at the Catholic University of Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Netherlands) CSIRO Australia (orange juice) Advantages Teagasc (dairy products) • • • High quality product with good sensory properties Some desirable effects on food proteins Potential to develop and exploit new markets 5. These companies specialise in large industrialscale systems for the food industry. and beef or chicken strips. Outline of the irradiation process Ionising radiation transfers energy to molecules. promoting the formation of ions or free radicals and causing a small percentage of chemical bonds to break. such as fresh and frozen hamburgers. such as a pouch. Irradiated meat products. its use for treatment of ground beef to combat Escherichia coli O157 H7 has increased very significantly. are selling at premium prices in supermarkets across the US. The process can give a longer shelf life to fresh high-quality foods without loss of organoleptic quality.se European Federation of Food Science and Technology www. Other companies include Engineered Pressure Systems International (Belgium and US). irradiation is now permitted in more than 30 countries worldwide. Resato International (Netherlands).EFFOST.

The electron beam system is the easiest to use on-line in a food factory. Applications Fruits and vegetables Irradiation is a well-established treatment for inhibiting sprouting of bulbs and tubers. Electron beams and x-rays are generated using a machine that can be switched on and off. 0. which treats herbs and spices. this is not sufficient to eliminate spores of Clostridium botulinum and some other species. factors such as the food medium. Campylobacter. irradiated ground beef products are gaining widespread acceptance in the US. coli O157:H7. such as onions and potatoes.25 0.1 – 3. the WHO recommends a maximum for food irradiation of 10 kGy. and Listeria monocytogenes. irradiation of vegetables to delay Effects of Irradiation Radiation Dose (kGy) Inhibit sprouting of potatoes. including Salmonella. E. The extent of the effect depends on the applied radiation dose. in addition.10.irradiation disrupts DNA and so causes the destruction of microbial cells. etc. As an example. There are 12 licensed plants in Europe. In the UK.0 senescence is permitted at levels of 1 kGy. Gamma. At present.0 . irradiation at this level is effective at eliminating spoilage moulds and bacteria from fruits such as strawberries. A French plant.and x-rays. whereas electron beams are only suitable for treating individual shipping boxes. can be used to treat palletised products in standard shipping Meat Radiation doses of up to 10 kGy have been shown to be sufficient to destroy most foodborne pathogens.0 1. irradiation of fruits to delay senescence and reduce spoilage is permitted at levels of 2 kGy. x-ray or electron beam: all provide sources of energy that act in a similar way. Destroy parasites in meat. Microorganisms vary in their susceptibility to irradiation.5 – 1. Research has also indicated that irradiation is not a suitable treatment for eliminating viruses from meat products.0 – 50. The SPI Circe II accelerator unit provides a dose of 5 kGy and is capable of processing 3 tons/hour. Irradiation equipment The radiation used for treatment can be gamma. fish Retard fruit senescence / destroy insect pests Destroy vegetative bacteria (pasteurisation process) Destroy microbial spores 0. 16 . there is just one licensed processing facility. influence the dose necessary for effective treatment. The equipment is more compact and requires less shielding. Gamma-rays are produced using a system centred on a Cobalt 60 or Caesium 137 source. In the UK. However. The following table gives an approximate guide to the radiation dose level (in kiloGrays) required to achieve different effects. for example. Similarly. because they penetrate further into solid materials. *At present.05 – 0. Irradiation is not able to inactivate prions in meat products and would not be effective against the infective agent of BSE. has installed such a system for killing Salmonella in deboned chicken meat.0 kGy* Herbs and spices Treatment of herbs and spices at 10 kGy to control pathogenic microorganisms is the only application presently licensed in the UK.0* 10. boxes. As mentioned previously. poultry treated at 7 kGy for control of pathogens is permitted in the UK.

Irradiation treatment could enable the use of fumigation chemicals to be reduced. Tenn.. produces cobalt-based irradiation services. It can be used to treat packaged foods and foods in a frozen state.food.gov. there may be no visual indication that a food is unfit for consumption. which.reviss. San Diego. growth of microorganisms. There is interest in the use of irradiation of bulk crops to replace chemical fumigants and ozone-depleting chemicals such as methyl bromide. • • • Antimicrobial activity – inhibition of spoilage or pathogenic bacteria Antifungal activity – inhibition of yeasts or moulds Antioxidant activity – inhibition or retardation of lipid oxidation..isotron. Advantages Further sources of information EC Commission on Food Irradiation http://europa.int/comm/food/fs/sfp/ fi_index_en. Memphis. Calif.co. They also exhibit a wide range of mechanisms of action.eu.. • • Microorganisms may develop resistance to irradiation. Relatively low operating costs. SureBeam Corp. offers electron beam equipment. • • High capital investment costs.htm • Powerful decontamination technique that can destroy microorganisms and insects and retard germination and sprouting in seeds. Irradiation can cause detrimental effects on the nutritional value of certain foods. • • • • Has very little effect on sensory properties.uk/science/research/ RadiologicalSafety/a05prog/a05projlist/ Puridec Irradiation Technologies http://www. Consumer concerns about the safety of the process and irradiated foods. Antimicrobial agents prevent or inhibit the 5. but not pathogenic bacteria. these are not considered here.html Food Standards Agency – research programme http://www.3: Natural Food Preservatives The use of natural alternatives to synthetic antioxidants and preservatives has become of intense interest in the face of consumer concerns about food additives and product labels bearing multiple E numbers.3.) 17 . in many cases are very complex.asp Isotron http://www. fruits and vegetables. (Although this definition includes some traditional preservatives such as sugar. Natural preservatives may show one or more of these different types of activity.com/home. • If irradiation eliminates spoilage bacteria. It may also have an undesirable effect on texture. salt and vinegar.uk/puridec/ foodirradiation/foodirradiation.Cereals Cereals irradiated at a dose of 1kGy to prevent sprouting are currently permitted in the UK. 5.1: Natural antimicrobials Manufacturers of irradiation equipment IBA Food Safety Division. Natural preservatives may act to enhance shelf life by different routes: Drawbacks • Irradiation could be used to decontaminate foods with high bacterial loads that would otherwise be unacceptable for sale.

It also depends on other variables. 18 . Bacteriocins – antimicrobial proteins produced by bacteria Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) produce a wide variety of different bacteriocins. and oxidoreductases such as lactoperoxidase. meat and fish. for example. Its hydrolysate. Nisin has shown promise in certain meat systems. thyme. specifically pediocin. is the most commercially important antimicrobial enzyme. sage. plant variety. Lysozyme is used against lactate-fermenting Clostridium species in milk. which is present in the milk of many species. Among the herbs and spices with oils best known for their antimicrobial properties are chilli. obtained from plants by steam distillation. glucose oxidase and catalase. Lactoferrin has been shown to inhibit attachment of pathogenic bacteria to meat surfaces. which is derived from egg whites. has a much higher activity than native lactoferrin. At present. for example against Listeria in chicken. it is the only enzyme permitted as a preservative. have proved more effective. Nisin is the most well known bacteriocin. are already part of the human diet. Bacteriocins are particularly suitable for use as part of a hurdle strategy for food preservation. Bacteriocins are proteins that can destroy or inhibit the growth of other bacteria. in addition to their characteristic aroma and flavour. Bacteriocins are the only antimicrobial peptides currently used in the EU as food preservatives. which attack fungal cell walls. garlic. known as lactoferricin. Nisin has been shown to inhibit the development of Clostridium botulinum spores in cheese spreads and the growth of Listeria in soft cheeses such as cottage cheese. and in ripened cheese to prevent ‘late blowing’. which catalyse reactions that produce cytotoxic compounds. Nisin is also used to control late blowing in matured cheese. such as meat and dairy products. which have potential applications as effective natural food preservatives. Peptides with iron-binding properties These peptides show an antimicrobial effect that is explained by their binding essential iron needed for microbial growth. Glucose oxidase and catalase may also inhibit lipid oxidation and so act as natural antioxidants. is of particular interest. Antimicrobial peptides A range of peptides displays antimicrobial activity. but other bacteriocins.Antimicrobial enzymes Lysozyme (E1105). Bacteriocins are isolated from foods that normally contain LAB. and to inhibit the spores of spoilage bacteria in canned vegetables. although in real food systems the effect has been found to be limited. The activity of essential oils against microorganisms is strongly dependent on the food system in which they are used. oregano and rosemary. usually contain phenolic compounds with a certain level of antimicrobial activity. The USDA approved this use on beef in January 2002. climatic factors and extraction method. pressing or extraction. Antimicrobials from plants Essential oils Essential oils. They are generally effective against Gram positive bacterial cells and spores. Although nisin occurs naturally it is only considered to be a ‘natural’ preservative when used in concentrations that do not exceed those that occur in foods fermented with a nisin-producing culture. Lactoferrin. particularly in dairy products. Food poisoning such as Listeria and Salmonella are reported to be inhibited by antimicrobial peptides. and as such. Other enzymes of natural origin with potential applications as antimicrobials are betaglucanases and chitinases.

garlic gives rise to the most potent antimicrobial. Among the most important are tocopherol/tocotrienol. Research has shown that these substances inhibit most microorganisms. ADM. poultry. and at very low doses is effective against spoilage fungi. The first group are found in plants of the Allium family (onion. Phytoalexins Antimicrobial phytoalexins are synthesised in certain plants in response to invasion by microorganisms. and are associated with a number of positive health effects. such as rosemary. basil. food components can affect antioxidant activity. cinnamon. bay. Of these. sinigrin in mustard seeds is cleaved by myrosinase to give allyl isothiocyanate (AITC. oregano. or sometimes antagonistically. organic acids. allicin. oregano and sage. Among the many food applications of essential oils as natural preservatives that have been investigated are the use of oregano oil against Escherichia coli O157:H7 in aubergine salads and basil oil for washing lettuces. However. and soups. carotenoids. Many suppliers. such as acetic acid. Jan Dekker International. such as reduced risk of heart disease. It has been suggested that these might potentially play a role as natural food preservatives.2: Natural antioxidants Antioxidants are capable of retarding or preventing the development of lipid oxidation and may increase food product shelf life by inhibiting the development of rancidity. Natural organic acids Naturally occurring acids. the majority of these antioxidants have a positive image to the consumer. lemon grass. Natural antioxidant compounds work by a number of different mechanisms. leek. They include pisatin from garden pea. malic acid. clove. The gaseous form of AITC has been shown to have greater antimicrobial activity than the liquid. lactic acid and oxalic acid. their characteristic sensory properties limit their application to foods that already have a strong flavour. 5. ascorbic acid. essential oils often exhibit useful antioxidant activity. Kalsec. In addition. Applications are generally limited to products in which acid flavour is desired. Bush Boake Allen. The second group are found in the Cruciferae (cabbage. fish.3. and so careful testing in the food system of interest is essential before any novel approach to preservation is adopted. horseradish). garlic). mustard. rosemary. In addition to antimicrobial activity. Hydrolytic enzymes act upon the glucosinolate content of the vegetables to form antimicrobial isothiocyanates. they include allspice. As may be expected. the main component of mustard essential oil). sage and oregano extracts are among the commercially available natural antioxidants and are used in several commercial blends of natural products. Enzyme-released antimicrobials Two main types of antimicrobial compounds are activated by enzymes. oils. green tea extracts. Among the suggested applications are meat. work as antimicrobials mainly by lowering the pH of food. lecithin. herb and spice extracts. Essential oils are acceptable to the consumer as natural preservatives. Rosemary. and antioxidant mixtures may prove to work synergistically. including RC Treatt. They have a long tradition of use and are generally regarded as safe (GRAS). garlic. and flavonoids. citric acid. phaseollin from beans and rishitin from potatoes and tomatoes. There has been considerable commercial development in natural antioxidants in recent years. mustard. 19 . providing a high concentration is used.Only a few essential oils have been shown to have useful antimicrobial activity at concentrations suitable for use in food processing. For example. sage and thyme.

The ultraviolet content of the light provides the photochemical energy.4. and Chr.osu.edu/pef/ US Soldier Systems Center (Natick) Dual Use Science & Technology (DUST) project http://www. Hansen now offer a wide range of different natural antioxidants or antioxidant blends.Overseal. At Ohio State University. and plant extracts. liquid egg. It has been estimated that the capital cost for future commercial systems is around twice that of commercial heat processing systems. The process.com/rations/ new/new_dehy.2: Pulsed white light Pulsed light treatment is the application of intense short flashes of broad-spectrum white light. Advantages 5. and no appreciable physical or chemical changes in the treated food.1: Pulsed electric field Microorganisms in foods may be inactivated by the application of very intense electric field pulses. Further sources of information Ohio State University • The replacement of chemical preservatives and antioxidants. skimmed milk.4: Other Developing Technologies 5. and that. Natural antioxidants are perceived as being beneficial to health. cheese sauce and salsa. energy supplied by a high-voltage power supply is stored in capacitors and discharged as short pulses through a food material in a treatment chamber. In pulsed electric field (PEF) systems. • Certain natural preservatives may have a strong characteristic flavour or odour. which may limit the dose that can be used. which takes only a few minutes.seabeecook. At present no commercial PEF systems are in place. apple juice. • A consumer-friendly label with no (or fewer) E-numbers. for fresh PEF-treated orange juice.4. lactoferrin. These include organic acids such as citric acid. some of which may be associated with safety concerns. higher doses of natural preservatives are often required. which makes it particularly important to test the performance of the preservatives in the real system. Drawbacks • To achieve equivalent activity to that of chemical preservatives.htm • Higher costs than conventional compounds. It is able to inactivate microorganisms by a combination of photochemical means and light-induced photothermal effects. 5. and the high intensity 20 . Many natural compounds have both antimicrobial and antioxidant activity. http://fst. researchers have reported very positive results for extension of the highquality shelf life of liquids such as fresh orange juice. the expected increase in price to the consumer would be about 3%. causes only a minimal increase in temperature. • The concept of natural antioxidants is welcomed by the consumer. one of the leading centres for the development of PEF technology. • The nature of the foodstuff substrate has a significant effect on the activity of natural preservatives.

5: Combinations of preservation technologies with potential It has been stressed throughout that when considering the implementation of novel processing or preservation measures for foods it is necessary to carry out careful testing. pulsed ultra-violet light Light in the UV-C region (wavelengths 200-80 nm) produces the strongest antimicrobial effect. However. and. Similarly. but less so against bacterial spores. and so has potential as a food preservation treatment. the most promising applications are in treatment of packaging materials.3: Ultra-violet light. In many cases the use of a combination of preservation technologies increases the effectiveness of microbial inactivation without a quality penalty. cakes.gov/~comm/iftus. in milk. Since UV may produce off-flavours in foods. because the pulses are of extremely short duration. doses may have potential applications as part of a combination preservation strategy. some examples are listed below. Further information FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition – the uses of ultrasound in the food industry http://vm. ultrasound and heat act synergistically in the inactivation of alkaline phosphatase. Ultrasound produces cell cavitation. and the effectiveness is increased when used together with high temperature or with high temperature and pressure. It requires a much longer treatment time than pulsed light. Pulsed light treatment is most effective on dry smooth surfaces. emulsification and meat tenderisation. Promising potential applications for extended shelf life include bakery products such as bread.fda. High-pressure processing is effective against microorganisms. 5.4: Ultrasound Ultrasound treatment involves the transmission of energy at frequencies higher than 18MHz. since penetration levels are low. is restricted to the extreme outer surface of the material to be treated. At high intensities. not only to ensure food safety. low-frequency. but also to evaluate the effects on food quality. UV-C is currently in commercial use for disinfecting air particle filters and decontamination of processing surfaces. The combination treatments produce a particularly marked increase in the effectiveness of ultrasound at inactivating enzymes.html 5. Combining high pressures with heat 21 . Online pasteurisation of drinking water and sterilisation of packaging materials are among the applications closest to commercial introduction.4. ultrasound has a lethal effect on microorganisms. ultrasound is used in food processing for a number of applications that are not related to food preservation.4. it is only suitable for surface treatment. such as degassing and foam control. According to researchers at Campden and Chorleywood Food Association. low Ultrasound causes microbial inactivation by cellular cavitation.4. pizza and bagels. mixing.cfsan. For example. 5.of the light pulses provides thermal energy. One of the limitations of the use of ultrasound for preservation of foods is that the intensity of ultrasound required to achieve microbial inactivation is such that can also have physical effects on foodstuffs. heat. pressure and ultrasound act synergistically in the inactivation of lipase. high-intensity ultrasound combined with heat treatment acts synergistically to enhance the inactivation of spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms by as much as twenty-fold. Many different combination treatments have been investigated or proposed. lactoperoxidase and glutamyltranspeptidase. localised heating and can lead to the formation of free radicals. where there are no fissures that could protect microorganisms from the light. At present. which.

and this has been investigated for skimmed milk. 42 (6). Raso J. Vol 2 (Supplement).. 56 (12) 63-64. 3442..P. introduction’ published by Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association Group. published by AIFST Inc. pressure treatment of foods’ published by Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. Barbosa-Canovas G.. Ohlsson T. Clark J. Bengtsson N.. Specific examples include modified atmosphere packaging with oregano essential oil vapour. To achieve the best results at the lowest dose levels additional techniques such as modified atmosphere packaging.K. 22 . August/September.. pulsed electric field. (2003) ‘New technologies in food preservation: an San Martin M.V..ift.S.. and ultrasound’ in ‘Food science and food biotechnology’ by Gutierrez-Lopez G.. (2001) ‘Preservation by the application of nonthermal processing’ in ‘Spoilage of processed foods: causes and diagnosis’ by Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology Incorporated Food Microbiology Group. PEF also has a synergistic effect when combined with moderately elevated temperatures (50-60 °C).F.M.. 5. 42-45 http://www.G.. Moir C.5: Further Reading General Hendrickx M.. Barbosa-Canovas G.. Zhang Q.M. ‘Microbial safety of minimally processed foods’ published by CRC Press. high hydrostatic pressure. Williams A. lysozyme and nisin with pulsed high-pressure treatment.F. Natural preservatives are best used in combination as part of a hurdle strategy. High-pressure processing Anon (2003) ‘Keeping the pressure up’ Sandwich and Snack News Magazine (May) 18-19. Novak J.. published by CRC Press.E..treatment has proved effective in certain food systems such as tomato and other vegetable products. Food Technology. heat treatment. nisin and carvacrol. (2002) ‘Ultra-highAnon (2003) ‘Effect of preservation technologies on microbial inactivation in foods’ Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. Knorr D. irradiation. Juneja V. (2003) ‘Nonthermal preservation of foods using combined processing techniques’ Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. for example...org/cms/?pid=1000633. Chilled storage and modified atmosphere packaging also work well in combination with irradiation for meat and poultry products.V. Dorantes-Alvarez L. and pH modification have been suggested.V. Rodriguez J. Leadley C.G. (2003) Pulsed electric field treatment is most effective for foods of low pH.W. (2003) ‘An update on some key alternative food processing technologies: microwave.the combination is more effective at destroying viruses in meat products. Yeom H.F. 43 (3). Gutierrez-Lopez G. Barbosa-Canovas G. Stewart C. Sapers G. Irradiation can act synergistically with heat treatment . 265-285.. Barbosa-Canovas G.B. and pulsed electric field. Barbosa-Canovas G.J.H. Cole M.. Fruit juices are good candidates for PEF treatment. Jones L.V. (2002) ‘Key goals of emerging technologies for inactivating bacteria’ Food Safety Magazine. Swanson B. (2002) ‘Thermal and nonthermal processing’.V. (2002) ‘Minimal processing technologies in the food industry’ published by Woodhead Publishing Ltd.J. 627-645. (2002) ‘Food processing by high hydrostatic pressure’ Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.

Singh A.L. Thompkinson D.F.K. (2001) ‘Bacteriocins: safe. 330-338. (2000) ‘Natural food preservation systems’ Indian Food Industry. published by Marcel Dekker...F.K... Sofos J. 71 (1).J. (2002) ‘Food irradiation – setting new standards or a slippery slope?’ Food Science and Technology.. Mendonca A. 1-20. published by Marcel Dekker.. 16 (2). (2003) ‘Natural antimicrobials for the minimal processing of food’ published by Woodhead Publishing Ltd. Chikindas M. Nes I. (2001) ‘Development of industrial microwave heating of foods in Europe over the past 30 years’ Journal of Microwave Power and Electromagnetic Energy. 19 (5). Microwave processing Bengtsson N.. (December 4).. Doores S. 23 .K. (2002) ‘Inactivation by irradiation’ in ‘Control of foodborne microorganisms’ by Juneja V. (September/October). (2002) ‘Microwave inactivation of pathogens’ in ‘Control of foodborne microorganisms’ by Juneja V.Irradiation Deeley C.K. 36 (4). Natural preservatives Cleveland J.N. Montville T. natural antimicrobials for food preservation’ International Journal of Food Microbiology. Roller S. 52-55. Sofos J. 227-240.N..

The best example of this is modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). Prevents loss of initial colour (e.g. Apart from protecting the food product from its environment and enabling easy distribution of delicate or difficult to handle products such as eggs or fresh produce. All of these are important. • • • • • • • Maintaining sterility of canned foods Maintaining sterility of aseptically filled drinks Exclusion of moisture from dried foods Long-term physical protection of frozen foods Exclusion of light from vulnerable products (e. chilled ready-meals.6: Packaging Food packaging performs a number of important functions. Prevents pack collapse in high moisture and high fat foods that absorb carbon dioxide. Most MAP applications use a combination of three gases to produce an ideal atmosphere. this can be overcome to some extent.1: Map For most foods there is an ideal atmosphere that will optimise the shelf life of the product. More recently. suitable for safe food contact. By supplying a higher initial level of oxygen in the pack. In recent years there has been rapid development of new packaging techniques to produce systems that have a more active role in the preservation of food products. but they are essentially passive functions. in red meats). The purpose of modified atmosphere packaging is to provide an initial atmosphere in the pack that comes as close as possible to that ideal. Also indirectly inhibits aerobic microbial growth. which has grown enormously over the last 20 years and now has a significant presence in a number of sectors. This promotes spoilage and reduces product shelf life.g. including fresh produce. and cost effective. dairy products. to sophisticated gas mixtures capable of producing significant extension of shelf life. This is true even for quite complex combination products. while levels of carbon dioxide increase. Packaging has had a key role in the maintenance and extension of food shelf life for many years. 20-100% in headspace inhibits some bacterial and mould growth. it also has to carry product information and has a marketing function. fresh cut produce continues to respire after packing and will rapidly use up the oxygen in the headspace of the pack. meat and poultry. and in some cases it has an integral role in the preservation system. antimicrobial release films. 6. The technology has developed from simple gas flushing designed to reduce oxygen levels in the pack. • Nitrogen: Inert gas used to displace oxygen and delay oxidation. oils and fats) Oxygen barrier Microbiological barrier • Oxygen: Allows respiration to continue in fresh produce. 24 . and antioxidant release films is beginning to command considerable attention. It also has to be convenient for the consumer to use. For example: of new applications and possibilities for packaging as a major technique for controlling shelf life. carbon dioxide absorbers. For example. Inhibits anaerobic bacterial growth. bakery products and seafood. other developments in the field of ‘active packaging’ have opened up a range • Carbon dioxide: The most important component in MAP gas mixtures. The potential of such developments as oxygen absorbers.

crisps and nuts). Drawbacks • It is also important to ensure that the ‘head space-to-product’ ratio is correct. snack foods (e. and ozone.e. and not only highly perishable foods. possible growth of Clostridium botulinum in low oxygen packs. If the headspace volume in the pack is too large.Other gases have also been investigated for possible application in MAP. Increased costs: • • • • • • • Capital cost of gas packaging equipment Gas supplies Packaging material Analytical equipment to monitor gas mixtures Quality assurance costs Increased pack volume. and pastries. argon is the most promising from a commercial point of view. Reduces the need for chemical preservatives. or into. Applications MAP can give useful shelf life extension across a wide range of products. • Vulnerable to seal failures and punctures caused by physical damage. Allows better separation of sliced products. coleslaw).g. sandwiches. Potential microbiological safety hazards (e. For example. the pack too quickly (This is a particular problem with carbon dioxide. dairy products. which diffuses through plastic films more readily than other MAP gases. For this reason. the packaging material must have sufficient barrier properties to prevent gases diffusing out of. then the pack appears to the consumer to be poor value. but is more effective because of its higher molecular weight.). ground coffee. less waste. Gas supplies Gases for MAP are most commonly supplied in pressurised cylinders. Improved hygiene from hermetically sealed packs. Product % Oxygen % Carbon dioxide 15-40 25 40 60 100 60-70 - % Nitrogen 75 30 40 30-40 100 100 Red meat Poultry White fish Oily fish Hard cheese Bread Fresh pasta Dried foods 60-85 30 - Other food products for which MAP can extend shelf life include: ready meals. Some examples are given below. dressed salads (e. improved production scheduling etc. together with commonly used gas mixtures. a variety of laminates are used for MAP products. but liquid gases are also available. argon. Of these.g. This inert gas fills the same functions as nitrogen. 25 . nitrogen dioxide.) But it must also be capable of forming a gas-tight seal. • • • • Improved product visibility. and nylon/EVOH/PE. Advantages • General benefits of a shelf life extension ranging from several days to several months (i. Examples of laminates used include: nylon/PE. and it is important to ensure that the material used is matched to the gas mixture. as are air separation systems for gas generation on site. wider distribution. cakes. Packaging materials The optimum gas mixture must be combined with a packaging material and pack sealing mechanism that allows the atmosphere in the pack to remain optimum as long as possible.g. nylon/PVdC/PE. If the headspace volume is too small the amount of gas mixture in the pack may be too low to have the desired effect. such as fresh produce. These include carbon monoxide.

and fresh produce.sealedair. Can be used to delay ripening and softening of produce such as bananas. cheese. such as ‘Intelimer’ film. organic acids. They can be used to increase the mould-free shelf life of bakery products. and other enzymes) have been developed to inhibit the growth of spoilage and harmful bacteria on the surface of meat. spice extracts. or BHT can be used to inhibit oxidation of oils and fats in dried and high fat foods. perhaps by the slow release of antimicrobial compounds or antioxidants.htm Campden guidelines (paper publication) http://www.g. Some of the technologies currently being developed are designed to modify the atmosphere within the pack throughout shelf life by absorbing or releasing gases. to absorb oxygen in the pack. the packaging is designed to interact with the product itself.airproducts.htm Cryovac packaging http://www. Useful for preventing microbial spoilage in meat. so that the optimum gas mixture of an MAP system is retained for a longer period. Examples • Antimicrobial release films – Films impregnated with a range of antimicrobial compounds (e. BHA. lysozyme.com/markets/ appdetail. • Ethanol emitters – Sachets that emit ethanol into the pack headspace have been developed in Japan.sofht. fish. • Oxygen scavengers – • Temperature compensating films – Used either in sachet form. In other cases.uk/publ/ pubfiles/ tm34. • Society of Food Hygiene Technology paper on MAP safety http://www. • Flavouring emitters – Flavour compounds can be incorporated into polymers to produce packaging materials that minimise flavour loss and mask taints and off odours in a wide range of products. avocados and potatoes.asp or bakery products. 6.co. incorporated into a label.com/eu/en/ products/food/default.asp Air Liquide http://www. or into the packaging film itself. • Antioxidant release films – Films containing antioxidants such as tocopherol. This ‘switch temperature’ can be anywhere between 0 °C and 45 °C.2: Active Packaging Active packaging can be defined as packaging that interacts with the internal environment of the pack. Sachets containing CO2 emitters can be used to maintain the original level. bakery products. cheese and some fruits.htm BOC MAP fact sheet http://www.uk/isfht/ irish_97_atmosphere.boc. and delaying oxidation of oils and fats.campden. Below this 26 .com/products/ equipment/foodfreezers/index. poultry.co.Sources of further information Air Products http://www.airliquide. fish. have a chemical structure that changes abruptly and reversibly at a specific temperature.com/en/business/ industry/food/applications/ map_packaging. • Ethylene scavengers – Also used in sachets or packaging films to absorb ethylene gas produced by some ripening fruits and vegetables. Applications include inhibition of mould growth on cheese Temperature compensating films. poultry.cfm?appdetailid= 30&market_ bs_id=46 Carbon dioxide emitters – Carbon dioxide diffuses through plastic packaging films more readily than other gases.

but it becomes much more permeable above the switch temperature. So far.voeding.tno. although both ethylene scavengers and ethanol emitters are also used. partly because of the effect of EU legislation on food contact materials.htm EU funded Actipak project http://www.csiro. especially in Japan and North America. The impact in Europe has been very limited to date. only oxygen scavengers have had any significant commercial impact.com/Intelimer.landecag.temperature.au/actpac. the film is an effective gas barrier.dfst.cfm?PNR=Actipak Intelimer film http://www. the European Commission has proposed a change to the regulations to allow active packaging applications. Current status of active packaging A great deal of research into active packaging is currently being undertaken. However. Sources of further information Food Science Australia fact sheet (Active packaging) http://www. and it seems likely that there will be a surge in uptake of these systems in the next few years.asp 27 . This can be used to compensate for the increase in the respiration rate of fresh-cut produce at higher temperatures.nl/ ProductSheet. but also because of fears of consumer resistance.

This helps to prevent the build-up of a resistant population of microbes. 7. Many chemicals have been evaluated for this purpose.2: Water The effective removal of dirt and other particles from fresh food using water has been used throughout history. Applications To remove and loosen dirt and reduce microbial contamination on fresh produce and meat carcasses. agitation. For fresh produce processing water should be kept at higher temperatures than produce to prevent bacteria and other microbes being drawn into the interior of the food product by a temperature-generated pressure differential. The main exception to this is irradiation. can be used in meat carcass trimming and is usually followed by the application of a vacuum to remove contaminants. and European legislation does not contain a list of compounds that can be used. 7. http://www. More information can be found in a health and safety executive (HSE) information sheet entitled ‘Controlling exposure to disinfectants in the food and drink industries’ Food Information Sheet No 29. Decontamination techniques currently used or proposed for industry include the use of chemicals. raising the temperature of the water (up to 80 °C has been suggested). Any chemical used as a decontaminant must obviously be safe when applied to food and there must be no antimicrobial residues left on the product.g.2. and can help to achieve a longer shelf life for a product. 28 . using the wash in conjunction with mechanical means such as brushes. Decontamination techniques can also help in prolonging the shelf life of ‘processed’ products (e.gov. otherwise it could be seen as an added preservative and not a processing aid. can enhance food safety as well as reduce the numbers of spoilage microorganisms.pdf. It is important to note that decontamination technologies cannot usually be relied upon to completely eliminate pathogens or spoilage microorganisms from foods. high pressure spraying). and other ‘alternative’ technologies. thermal or physical treatments. and/or using multiple washing steps.hse. cooked prawns) by removing microorganisms that have re-contaminated the product during or after processing. There has been less interest in the UK.7: Decontamination Techniques 7. such as raw meats and fresh produce. Safety for employees using chemicals should be taken into consideration. and some have been approved by the US authorities and are in commercial US. Water. spraying.1: General considerations There are a wide variety of chemical decontamination agents that can be used and it may be a sensible precaution to rotate different agents within a plant over time.2. 7. A number of treatments used together can result in a greater reduction of microorganisms than a single treatment. Water can also be used as a final step following other chemical sanitising methods.g.1: Introduction The decontamination of raw foodstuffs. But decontamination does provide a means of reducing the initial levels of microorganisms and so extend shelf life.2: Chemical Techniques There has been great interest in chemical decontamination techniques in recent years. particularly delivered using highpressure hoses. Simple washing can slightly reduce surface microbial populations but the efficacy of water as a decontamination agent can be improved by ensuring that potable water is used. using different application methods (e. especially in the US following serious food poisoning outbreaks linked to raw meat and fresh produce.uk/pubns/fis29.

com/news/article_ detail.5. Further information http://www. in order to minimize the corrosion of processing equipment.waterwise. Although chlorine is more effective in solution at acid pH levels.uk/ http://www. Ozone can also be used to decontaminate bottled water and to treat water used to decontaminate meat and fresh produce. are probably the most widely used sanitisers for decontaminating fresh produce. in wash waters for fruits.com/ http://www. Ozone has recently been suggested for use to decontaminate ready-to-eat meat and poultry products.ozonetech. Ozone has a short half-life and readily breaks down to oxygen so food treated with ozone will have no residues left over from processing.3: Ozone Ozone is a gaseous form of oxygen which.Advantages Advantages • • • Natural sanitizer Consumer-acceptable Inexpensive • • • No chemical residue on treated product or in the water used for washing Operating costs are low Can be generated when needed and does not need storage facilities Disadvantages • • • • Limited effectiveness Use of untreated water may cause cross contamination Hot water can affect the colour. or colour changes in some products • • • Ozone can be corrosive to materials used in processing equipment Difficult to control and monitor when organic loads vary Ozone can be toxic to humans 7.boc. texture and flavour of produce Physical cleaning used with water can damage produce and may lead to the removal of waxy cuticles that are natural barriers to microorganisms Drawbacks • • The capital cost of the initial equipment is high The strong oxidising properties of ozone can cause physical injury. such as black spots in bananas.0 and 7.com/ 7. chlorine-based sanitisers are usually used at pH values between 6. cfm?ID=633 http://www. Ozone can be used as a gas during the chilled storage of various foods to reduce microbial spoilage.4: Chlorine (hypochlorite) Chlorine-based chemicals. to extend shelf life during storage of various products including fruit and vegetables. Ozone gas can be generated either by using UV bulbs or corona discharges in an oxygen-filled atmosphere.praxair. the amount of organic matter and numbers and types of microbes 29 . Processing water should be kept at least 10 °C higher than the produce being treated to prevent microbes being drawn into the internal parts of the product by a temperature-generated pressure differential. decontamination of animal carcasses. of 50–200 ppm free chlorine and with typical contact times of 1–2 minutes. The gas dissolves into the water contained in the food being stored and so reduces the levels of microorganisms on the exposed surfaces of the product. The type of produce. particularly liquid chlorine and hypochlorites. Chlorine compounds are usually used at levels Applications Bottled drinking water production.2. when dissolved in water. salads and vegetables.co.2. has been shown to be a powerful disinfectant.

and it not now considered acceptable practice. DMDC is more effective as a sterilant at ambient and higher temperatures. Applications Chlorine is used in wash waters and assists with decontaminating the surfaces of fresh fruits. however. Chlorine treatments have also been suggested for the decontamination of seeds for sprouting. which would mean declaration on the label. DMDC is added to the beverage immediately prior to bottling and the chemical undergoes complete hydrolysis within a few hours to methanol and carbon dioxide.proton-group. Chlorine compounds can then be classified as processing aids and residual chlorine on the produce could not be claimed to extend shelf-life. The activity of DMDC is also affected by the pH and alcohol content of the treated product (products containing higher alcohol levels and lower pH require less DMDC for effective treatment). It is usual to rinse washed produce in clean water after decontamination. This breakdown into naturally occurring components means its use is as a ‘cold sterilant’ agent and not as a persistent antimicrobial in the product. taste. At levels lower than 200 mg/l its taste is undetectable in products. ready-to-drink teas. including moulds and yeasts. vegetables. sports drinks.’ Suppliers of equipment and sanitising chemicals http://www.uk/ 7. the effective use of chlorine for decontaminating meat carcasses is disputed. Advantages • • • • Readily available Inexpensive Well proven in use Effective and simple to monitor Drawbacks • • May leave a residual taste or taint on the product Chlorine rapidly loses activity on contact with organic matter or exposure to air.2. Commercially available a ‘Velcorin®’ Applications Alcoholic and non-alcoholic wines.co.present on produce all affect the effectiveness of chlorine decontamination. salads and fresh herbs. Advantages produce washing.5: Dimethyl dichloride Dimethyl dichloride (DMDC) is an effective sterilising chemical treatment used to inactivate microorganisms. ‘The uses of chlorine in fresh • 30 . in a wide variety of beverages. light or metals • The formation of potentially hazardous chlorinated organic compounds upon treatment of fruits and vegetables with chlorine is a concern • Potential health and safety hazards • • • • It does not affect the colour. or odour of the beverage at use levels It can reduce or eliminate the need for chemical preservatives in beverages Does not require declaration on the label when used as a sterilant Additional equipment required can be incorporated into existing filling lines Low energy costs Further information Guidelines are available for the use of chlorine to wash fresh produce. Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association. Washing produce in chlorine-treated water reduces the chance for cross-contamination between different batches of product. CCFRDA Guideline No 38 (2002). However. juice based beverages and carbonated and non-carbonated artificial drinks. it breaks down more rapidly at higher temperatures and commercial suppliers recommend its use at around 10 °C.

tartaric acid. Organic acids can be used in combination with other decontamination techniques.com/mpp/ global/applications/food_beverages/ beverages/ Further information http://www. alone.7: Organic acids The antimicrobial efficacy of organic acids depends on type of acid. 7. including herbs. particularly mushrooms. spraying or treatment with hydrogen peroxide vapour is reported as effective for some fruit and vegetable products. To reduce the microbial load on fish and prawns. Citric.htm 7.sanosil. Advantages also be of use in the decontamination of fresh produce. Dipping. or in combination with each other. are all possible decontamination agents. In some countries the maximum concentration for meat and poultry carcasses is 100 ppm. acetic. Decontamination of fresh produce.2. • • • Rapidly breaks down leaving no residues It leaves no odour and does not effect the taste of treated foods It is non-toxic at use concentrations and has a neutral pH 31 . lamb. its concentration and type of application. and other organic acids. Has been suggested as useful as an antimicrobial in dairy products and to reduce mould contamination in dried fruits. Such acids are used prior to the chilling of carcasses as they are most effective when applied at temperatures between 50–55 °C. To decontaminate fresh fruit and vegetables. lactic.com/index. temperature and other factors in the food matrix. Organic acids such as lactic and acetic acid are probably the most widely used chemical decontaminants to reduce bacterial contaminants on beef.6: Hydrogen peroxide The antimicrobial properties of hydrogen peroxide have been known for many years and preparations where hydrogen peroxide is the active compound are marketed as decontaminating solutions for the food industry. such as high pressure water sprays. Efficacy also depends on pH. Combination treatments particularly using hydrogen peroxide with acetic acid are reported as very effective for reducing foodborne pathogens on some types of fresh produce. As an external decontaminant for cheese. As a wash for poultry carcasses. as well as other cleaning agents such as chlorine and surfactants. pork and poultry carcasses.• Can remove the need for hot-fill allowing more packaging options • It has little impact on waste water or the environment Drawbacks Drawbacks • • • Not completely effective against all microorganisms Capital outlay for additional equipment fitted to filling lines The chemical is hazardous and requires special handling • Effective concentrations of hydrogen peroxide may cause undesirable colour and appearance changes in treated carcasses • Unacceptable colour changes are reported with some types of fruit and vegetables.2.protectedbybayer. strawberries and raspberries Further information http://www. Applications Decontamination of meat carcasses. Research has found that organic acids may Applications To decontaminate meat and poultry carcasses.

purac. Samelis J. and peeled potatoes respectively. Cambridge Woodhead Publishing Ltd. chlorine dioxide is less affected by organic matter and its activity is unaffected by pH. When compared with chlorine and hypochlorites.aamp. although its use on some fresh produce may be restricted by legislation.com/uses.. Drawbacks • Is more expensive than hypochlorites Further information http://www. Sofos J.hk/PRODUCTS/ citrox.8: Peracetic (peroxyacetic) acid Sanitisers containing peracetic acid have been reported to maintain their efficacy in reducing microbial loads over a broader pH range and in a higher organic loading than hypochlorite.htm#1 Organic acids.ecolab. 2003.N.Advantages Applications To use in waters for decontamination of freshcut. and in the preparation of ice to store fresh fish.agritrus.9: Other chemicals that may have a role as decontaminants Chlorine dioxide Chlorine dioxide extremely effective at low concentrations. vegetables and salads. Advantages • • • Organic acids naturally occur in many foods Regarded as natural and environmentally friendly by the consumer Readily available and relatively low cost Drawbacks • • Can cause the discolouration of meat surfaces and off-flavours Their use may cause the emergence of acid-resistant pathogens with reduced microbial competition on the decontaminated meat • When used at recommended concentrations peracetic acid does not have an impact on colour. further processed and post-harvest fruit and vegetables.htm http://www.htm http://www.2. This 32 .asp 7. The maximum concentration for use on meat and poultry carcasses in 220 ppm.com/documents/ literature/ FreshMeatEN. Roller S. Research has shown that in combination with surfactants such decontaminates can be effectively used to reduce pathogens on fresh produce.com. typically levels of 3 ppm and 1 ppm are used for whole produce.biokill. It is noncorrosive at use concentrations. 98-132. More information http://www.com/beefcarcslaug. Natural antimicrobials for the minimal processing of foods. Chlorine dioxide can be used to wash fresh fruit.2. odour or taste of product • It breaks down mainly to acetic acid and water and so it is compatible with waste treatment systems • • The disposal of acids in wastewater can be a problem The use of organic acid treatments can accelerate equipment corrosion • It is supplied premixed so there is less risk to processing personnel.pdf http://www. 7. and in red meat carcass sprays.com/Initiatives/foods afety/ FST/Tsunami. It has been used in water for meat carcass washing and processing. Used in poultry spray rinsing and chill water. Available commercially as ‘Tsunami®’ Chlorine dioxide is difficult to store and transport and is usually generated on-site.

Further information http://www.sanova.com/toc. It is used by spraying or dipping for up to 15 seconds. Although it is non-corrosive to metal.clo2.e.rhodia-phosphates. Further information http://www. the activated product (in a form that has the greatest antimicrobial properties) available for use as a decontaminating agent is derived from milk. There is also a withholding time until the treated fruit and vegetables can be processed (i. There are also waste treatment and health and safety concerns. washing off faecal contaminants and dirt. 33 .co.com/food/ index.com/ brochures/ phosprods/page7. and is followed by a rinse in clear water. Chlorine dioxide is produced during application. residual levels of this chemical following treatment have been considered excessive for human consumption and CPC has yet to be approved for food use. cut up).net/cecure/cecure. meat and meat products there is a post treatment water rinse applied to fruit and vegetables.htm Further information Activated lactoferrin http://www.uk/ Trisodium phosphate A mixture of water and food grade trisodium phosphate (usually at concentrations between 8-12%) is used to clean and decontaminate poultry carcasses. Unfortunately.htm Acidified sodium chlorite Acidified sodium chlorite is prepared by mixing sodium chlorite and citric acid (or another food grade acid such as phosphoric acid. it has a limited effect on spoilage microflora. but levels do not exceed 3 ppm. It has simple feed and application systems.htm http://www.safefoods. is not a severe health hazard. hydrochloric acid.chlorine-dioxide. Trisodium phosphate solutions can be recycled. Further information http://www.process is expensive and carries serious health and safety concerns. minimising the ability of bacteria to attach to surfaces.com/ http://www. It acts as a detergent. It is not currently approved for food processing in the US. It decontaminates by acting as a surfactant due to its high pH (pH of TSP solution is around 12-13). The time between mixing and application is less than 5 minutes. preventing the growth of any remaining cells. and studies have investigated its efficacy at reducing foodborne pathogens using concentrations between 0. Although there is no post treatment water rinse required for its use for poultry. It is effective as a decontaminating agent because it prevents bacteria from attaching to carcasses. and can be corrosive to plant and equipment over extended periods of use. and has no effect on the Lactoferrin in a ‘natural’ antimicrobial. It also acts as an antimicrobial.5 and 1%. organoleptic qualities of the food. In the US. malic acid or sodium acid sulfate).asp Cetylpyridinium chloride Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) is a quaternary ammonium compound that has antimicrobial properties against many microorganisms. it is permitted for use at up to 2% of a waterbased antimicrobial spray. Its potential is for use as a spray or dip treatment to decontaminate carcasses. It can be applied onto food surfaces by spraying or dipping at levels of 500-1200 ppm.purate. It is applied by an electrostatic application followed by a water rinse to remove detached cells.

seasonings and seeds. Advantages 7. The activity of nisin against some bacteria can be enhanced when used with coagents such as organic acids. and is perceived as a ‘natural’ food preservative. or with other technologies such as high hydrostatic pressure. there is no visual quality effect on the carcass • Advantages • • Leaves no chemical residues on produce 34 . Hot water spray treatments are via washing cabinets. The efficacy of hot water sprays can be improved by delivering the water under high pressure. • Perceived by the consumer as a natural treatment Drawbacks • • Uses large quantities of water when compared with chemical treatments Achieving adequate temperatures on the surface of meat product can be difficult due to heat loss when water travels from nozzle to carcass • • • Hot water can generate condensate on products Hot water can affect the colour. storage temperature. To decontaminate dried herbs. seasonings and seeds have also been developed. fat content. Applications To reduce microbial counts on meat carcasses. curing agents. Effective water temperature for the decontamination of meat carcasses should exceed 74 °C. spices. Has reduced energy costs and water use compared with hot-water sprays Bacterial reductions are achieved without the use of corrosive chemicals If used correctly. as nisin’s activity is affected by numerous factors such as salt.2: Steam Commercial processes for meat carcasses using steam pasteurization reduce bacterial counts by applying pressurised steam for around 6 seconds to the surface of carcasses after a washing step. Research has indicated that for meat carcasses a hot-water spray followed by a cold wash may be more effective than a hot spray alone.3.Nisin Nisin is an antimicrobial that is produced by bacteria found in milk. Material is exposed to saturated steam for a short time (a high temperature/short time [HTST] process).3 : Thermal Techniques 7. Applications • Decontamination of meat carcasses.5% nisin. pH.3. There are variable reports on the efficacy of nisin as a decontaminating agent for meat. and the product is dried and cooled. spices. texture and flavour of products Can be expensive in energy costs 7. and research using water at temperatures above 80 °C report no adverse quality affects on the product. modified atmospheres and the presence of other preservatives. This is usually followed by another cool wash to reduce heat damage to the carcass. Research indicates that pressurised steam gives equivalent reductions in pathogen numbers as for knife trimming or steam vacuuming.1: Hot water Hot water is used as an immersion treatment to control insects and post-harvest plant pathogens on fresh produce and it may be of use as a sanitiser for whole produce that is then further processed for fresh-cut products or unpasteurised juices. Typically commercial preparations are supplied at 2. The addition of nisin to products can enhance pasteurization treatments allowing less product-damaging heat regimes to be used. Processes using steam sterilization for the decontamination of herbs.

43 (4). Research indicates that a commercial steam vacuum system is more 35 .. hot water or chlorinated hot water immersion on bacterial numbers and quality of lamb carcasses. 7.• For dried products. Ketteringham L.. thus ensuring a safer product.ventilex. UV treatments. Journal of Food Engineering. hydrostatic pressure.3. James S. oscillating magnetic fields and biocontrol agents. • Improves visual appearance and decontaminates small areas on a carcass using a single treatment • • Requires expensive capital investment in equipment Not suitable for all spices because causes the loss of volatile flavour and aroma components • May be more effective than knife trimming and reduce the need for visual inspections • The process raises moisture levels in dried powders. The technique functions as a spot cleaner for carcasses. but the process must be declared on product labels. the process uses a vacuum wand that has a hot water (82-88 °C) spray inside. so that postprocess contamination does not occur. In the EU irradiation is permitted at the time of writing for the decontamination of dried aromatic herbs. 219-225. ultrasound. to decontaminate the carcass as well as to sterilise the outside of the vacuum wand. electric fields. Steam is delivered by two external spray nozzles that have two functions. Drawbacks Applications • • If applied for longer than 6 seconds. spices and vegetable seasonings.. These include irradiation. James C. However. However.3: Steam vacuum The application of steam or hot water with a suction or ‘vacuuming’ treatment is a process used in meat carcass decontamination that combines the physical removal of faecal contamination along with the sanitisation of the carcass. 2000 (March). microwaves.htm http://www.htm Effect of steam condensation. Treatment has been used as three even passes at a rate of 1 second per pass. pulsed light. Typically. 7. can affect the colour of meat products The effect on meat colour can cause plant personnel to reduce the application time or temperature that may lead to an ineffective procedure Advantages To clean and decontaminate carcasses. the process is more acceptable to the consumer when compared with irradiation effective than knife trimming and may remove the need for a visual examination by an inspector. Irradiation is permitted to reduce microbial loads for meat products in the US.A. the process is probably more suited to packed products rather than carcasses.J.net/Steam%20 Sterilization.revtech. research into the efficacy of these treatments is limited and is ongoing.fr/siteeng/ food_decont. possibly resulting in higher mould counts Drawbacks • Further information Can only clean small areas on a carcass at once Tends to be used when faecal contamination is evident so would not be applied to microbial contamination on visually clean ‘areas’ • http://www. Thornton J.4 : Other Technologies Other processes have been proposed for the decontamination of fresh produce or meat carcasses.

Control of foodborne microorganisms. Dickson J. Hardin M.D.meatscience.. Acuff G.K.5 : Sources of Further Information Meat decontamination http://www. Castillo A.com/x/international /WHO-19991100A..S. Juneja V.gov/~comm/ ift3-5. 2002.html 36 ..org/pubs/ newsltr/attach/ncbafs1. Marcel Dekker.html http://www. Fresh produce http://www.N.R.7.pdf Reduction of microbial contaminants on carcasses. Sofos J. New York.fda.pestlaw.cfsan.. 351-381.

uk/publ/ pubfiles/ g41. ceilings and services for food production areas (second edition) http://www. and perhaps the safety. There is no point in setting a target that is not achievable. Food processing premises should be designed and operated so that raw ingredients cannot cross-contaminate processed product. It should also be remembered that processing water is an ingredient in many foods. and should be monitored regularly. the number of microorganisms present at the point of production will be an important factor in keeping quality. especially where there are water storage tanks and extensive distribution pipework within a plant. 8.co. 8. Further information CCFRA Guideline No 40 (2002).htm 8. 37 .1: Sourcing of Ingredients The microbiological quality of raw materials can also have a significant impact on the final shelf life of a product. humidity and light can all affect the quality. but must be realistic for the ingredient and account for the environment in which it is produced. Temperature. The main way in which the environment influences shelf life is by increasing the microbiological loading of the product. and which is neither sterilised in its final container. nor aseptically filled after sterilization. Storage areas should be well designed for easy cleaning and must be kept clean. For any product that is susceptible to microbiological spoilage. Materials used in ceilings. Important gains in shelf life can be achieved simply by applying good hygiene practice throughout processing.campden.campden. Institute of Food Science and Technology London IFST 1999. A microbiological specification for each ingredient should be agreed with the supplier. Some specific measures that can be taken are detailed below. Further information Development and use of microbiological criteria for foods.2: Storage of Ingredients The appropriate storage of raw ingredients can influence the final shelf life of a product.htm CCFRA Guideline No 41 (2003).3: Processing Areas Careful attention to the design of a processing area can help in extending the shelf life of a product.8: The Food Production Environment: Impact on Shelf Life The processing environment can affect the shelf life of many foods. walls and floors should be able to be easily cleaned and all areas should be accessible for cleaning. A clean and contamination-free processing environment and well trained staff will help to minimize the levels of microbial contamination that are present on a food product as it passes into the distribution chain. This should always be of potable quality.co. Guidelines for the design and construction of walls. this should set tight limits for contamination wherever possible.uk/publ/ pubfiles/ g40. of a raw ingredient. They should be free from pests and a system for stock rotation should be implemented. Cross-contamination can not only impact on the spoilage of a product but also can lead to food poisoning. Guidelines for the design and construction of floors for food production areas (second edition) http://www.

htm Best practice guidelines on airflows in highcare and high-risk areas (2001). Further information CCFRA Guideline No 12 (1996). 2003.uk/publ/ pubfiles/ g39. The flow of air is also controlled within the clean room. Clean room technology can assist in achieving a longer shelf life for fresh products that have a stage in their production process where they are vulnerable to airborne contamination. and air flow in the processing environment can affect the microbiological quality of a final product. and those products not receiving an additional heat treatment prior to consumption. Cleaning procedures for the surfaces and equipment should be validated and implemented.campden. air supply and air flow can have a significant impact on the safety and spoilage of high-risk products.htm 38 . Applications Clean room technology is useful to products that are exposed to air during filling. Design and layout can also have a big effect on the flow of air. such as dead areas in tanks.campden. In this way. which is usually kept under positive pressure so that unfiltered air is unlikely to be drawn in through entrances and exits.uk/publ/ pubfiles/ g12. Further information CCFRA Guideline No 39 (2003). and potential contamination traps.sri. It is a technology that prevents rather than treats the contamination. valves. Wray S.2: Ventilation The air supply to. Silsoe Research Institute.4: Clean Room Technology Clean room technology supplies clean air drawn through high efficiency filters (HEPA filters) that can almost completely remove microorganisms and other particles to a physically separated area within the plant (the clean room). The staff working in the area must be well trained and should be dressed in appropriate protective clothing.bbsrc. 11-13. Guidelines for the hygienic design. The appropriate use of air filters to remove airborne particles and microorganisms from incoming air in processing areas can reduce spoilage and extend shelf life. http://www. during 8.3. In high-care areas where microbial contamination can pose a major risk. e. pizzas and pastas.3. International Food Hygiene. since many microbial contaminants can be airborne. 14 (1). Incorporating clean rooms into a process can help achieve a longer shelf life by ensuring a low level of microbial contamination. an environment that is almost microbiologically sterile can be maintained. construction and layout of processing factories http://www.1: Processing equipment Design of equipment is extremely important. The technology can also keep a product free from allergens or genetically modified material and help with the avoidance of foreign objects. the position of external and internal doors is very important. and physically preventing cross-contamination from elsewhere in the processing facility. if not sterility. Processing equipment that is easy to clean is essential. For example.g. Paying attention to ease of cleaning at the design or purchase stage will pay dividends in operation. but also encourages staff to apply proper cleaning procedures. 8. Easy to clean equipment not only has inherent advantages. or pipes that are difficult to reach should be avoided. particularly in extended shelf life chilled foods such as cheeses.uk/ Controlling air quality in the food industry. human hair. The movement of staff and materials in and out of the room should be strictly controlled to prevent cross contamination.co.co.8. Guidelines on Air Quality Standards for the Food Industry http://www.ac.

1 (1998). Cleaning options for processing areas dealing with dry goods are limited mainly to physical methods. • Suitable for refrigerated products that are processed but contain little or no preservative • • Can help extend shelf life for fresh products without impairing quality Can allow alternative packaging options because lower process temperatures/filling options are available using this technology Drawbacks • • High Initial outlay and running costs High level of staff training needed Further information In all cases it is important to develop a Clean room technology and its benefit to the food and beverage industry.g. Guideline No. For example. An enormous range of cleaning chemicals is Guidelines for clean room technology. Although microbiological concerns are paramount. Even quite complex processing equipment may sometimes need to be stripped down. disinfectants can be used in a fogging (as an aerosol) system. Dairy Practices Council. 2. Removing soil and microorganisms from all product contact surfaces and the Advantages Can potentially be used to clean all areas of food processing establishments. cleaning helps to prevent other problems. and bakery products may all benefit from this technology.5. and the choice of chemicals can be difficult. Guidelines for the dairy industry relating to sanitation and milk quality. volume 1. scrubbing). While cost is an issue. New Food. Applications cost of poor cleaning to a business can be very large. The potential Effective cleaning is of vital importance in ensuring that food products do not become contaminated with microorganisms and/or physical soil that may reduce product quality and shelf life.the transfer from preparation line to the packaging area or for component products that are assembled into consumer-ready portion packages. H. commercially available. documented schedule of cleaning procedures of proven effectiveness for staff to follow. Dairy Practices Council Keyport DPC 2001. It is important to ensure that the detergents and sanitizers used are appropriate for the product and plant.H. 14. fresh pasta. Recent developments such as cleaning foams may be useful alternatives to conventional cleaning chemicals. and cleaned by hand if necessary. and it has also been used to assemble ready meals. Special care should be taken for the cleaning of high care areas and chilled food production lines. since the introduction of water and water-based liquids to dry areas should not normally be permitted on a routine basis. 18-23.5: Cleaning Technology • • Usually requires little capital outlay Effective if done thoroughly 39 . the presence on surfaces of small amounts of fat or oil that have already begun to go rancid can accelerate rancidity in further batches of product. chemical detergents or disinfectants and/or heat can be very effective for reducing soil and microbial loads in a food processing environment. Schicht. inspected. 8.1: Traditional cleaning methods Traditional cleaning using simple physical methods (e. such as overhead surfaces. Cheese. For areas hard to access. Advantages environment generally at adequate intervals can therefore have a big effect on shelf life. effectiveness is more important. 8.

CIP relies upon the use of a series of detergents.us/phs/oeh/fses /food_eq_cl_san. exposing workers to fewer chemicals Can reduce use of cleaning chemicals and water if set up correctly Lower labour costs involved in cleaning a process line Drawbacks • • High capital equipment cost Needs very careful monitoring and finetuning to ensure system is effective and efficient Further information http://www.htm MAFF (1998) A practical guide to the disinfection of food processing factories and equipment using fogging.5. selection and use of dry cleaning equipment. in the brewery industry. rinses. 397-428. Health and safety during use of disinfectants: http://www.htm 8. 69-81. in a dairy) without the need to totally 8. 1995. for the appropriate time and at the correct temperature. A supervisor’s handbook of food hygiene and safety. etc.co. http://www. CIP systems can be fully automated or manually operated.pdf On line review of food equipment and cleaning: http://www.. 2000. They include the following: 40 .uk/publ/ pubfiles/g44. for beverages.seiberling4cip. margarine manufacture and desserts (e. Dennis C. sanitizers.az.state.hse. Guidelines for the hygienic design. • Cleaning and disinfection. Stringer M.uk/pubns/fis29. Holah J. The CIP system is finetuned so that surfaces are in contact with santiser/rinse solutions at the correct concentration. Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene. Applications • • • Can leave a residue on equipment that can cause a taint in product Health and safety issues Some cleaning chemicals can be corrosive to equipment Further information CIP is widely used in the dairy industry. It is also used in liquid soup and sauce processing.. cleaning and reassembling • Can help in increasing shelf life because cleaning can be done more frequently and effectively • • • Increased safety. CIP systems are usually a part of the initial design of equipment and they are built in to it as an integral component.htm Advantages particularly milk processing plants.g. to flush and wash an enclosed processing plant (e.5. Cambridge.g. CCFRA Guideline No 44 (2003). Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene.campden.2: Clean in place (CIP) systems CIP lends itself to liquid or semi-liquid processing operations where the equipment system used is in almost continuous use. 2nd edition. Chilled foods: a comprehensive guide.3: Novel cleaning methods A number of novel alternative cleaning and sanitising techniques and materials have been investigated. Cleaning and disinfection. Reduces the downtime involved in dismantling a system.com/ evol&dev.gov.hs.Drawbacks dismantle the system. Woodhead Publishing Limited. London RIPHH. ice cream).

The evaluation of ozone for airborne and surface disinfection. 8.lenntech.5: Solid carbon dioxide (CO2) An alternative to conventional cleaning is cleaning with pellets of carbon dioxide. which then cracks and starts to peel off. It is also used to control contamination in process water. Applications Can be used to reduce microbial numbers on food contact surfaces and on packaging.htm http://www. As the CO2 pellets sublimate they enlarge their volume about 700 times.html CCFRA R&D Report 109 (2000). the distance from lamp to surface.ozonetech.5.g. organisms in cracks or pits are protected • • Can be generated easily on site Effective sanitiser Further information http://www.hanovia. UV lights can also be used to control mould growth on the surface of stored ingredients such as syrups in bulk storage tanks. 8. Exposure time depends on the energy produced by the lamps. The action continues because the cracks formed in the surface dirt allows carbon dioxide pellets to get under and between the soil.com/will1.Ozone Research has indicated that ozone is effective at killing microorganisms attached to surfaces as well as within an aerosol. Ozone treated water can be used to reduce microbial loads in clean-in-place systems and as an effective treatment for surfaces within the food processing environment.4: Ultra-violet light Ultra-violet (UV) light can be used to disinfect surfaces. mould spores) have significant resistance to UV light Cannot penetrate below a surface. The method is suitable for organic soil and for microorganisms. Lamps producing UV radiation at the optimum wavelength to destroy microorganisms are positioned above the surfaces that require treatment.net/uv-applications/ default. The method works because an abrasive action takes place as the CO2 hardens the layer of soil to be removed. 41 .com/ozone. storage areas and transport vehicles. CO2 pellets are mixed with an air jet and directed against the surface to be cleaned under high pressure at about 20 bar.htm Drawbacks • Capital outlay for generation equipment Further information http://www. Advantages Applications • Disinfecting agent suitable for use on most food contact surfaces within a food processing plant The process leaves no residue so there is no risk of taint transfer to product Can be fast and is easy to use • Drawbacks Advantages • Leaves no chemical residue on surfaces so production can begin soon after use without the worry of chemical taint or contamination occurring • • • Capital cost to purchase equipment Some microorganisms (e.5. and on the nature of the surface to be treated.

Applications Useful in areas where heavy soiling occurs that is difficult to remove by conventional methods. Advantages • Does not have the environmental clean-up issues associated with cleaning chemicals.co.uk/App-FoodUK.icesonic.pdf 42 . Can be used in dry areas as no water is used in the process. Further information http://www. Drawbacks • Still an emerging technology.

accessible parts of processing equipment and other parts of the premises can be included in an inspection regime. Drawbacks • • Cost of laboratory analysis Takes time (days) for results. which can include: Applications Monitoring microbial and/or chemical contamination on food contact surfaces and in the general food processing environment. the more living material is present.9: Hygiene Monitoring – How efficient is the cleaning? Although the food-processing environment may appear clean. Can be used to test specifically for food poisoning organisms or spoilage bacteria. Therefore.1: ATP kits ATP kits detect a chemical (adenosine tri phosphate) found in all living cells. the amount of which can be measured.3. and standards can then be set for different processing areas. This will pick up gross debris.3: Rapid Hygiene Monitoring The need for a quick result in determining the cleanliness of processing areas has lead to the development of a number of ‘kits’ that give an indication of the hygienic status of a surface. meaning that days of production can have been exposed to contamination • Advantages Does not detect food debris on a surface Further information CCFRA Guideline No 20 (1999) Effective Microbiological Sampling of Food Processing Environments. greasy surfaces and sometimes evidence that cleaning agents still remain on surfaces. The test can be applied on site and results are available within minutes. can be checked using traditional sampling. 9. ATP kits can also be 43 . Wet/dry swabs or sponge swabs are used to sample contamination on surfaces at specific points in the plant according to a sample plan developed using a statistical approach. giving an indication of source 9. Advantages • • Swabs are inexpensive Can give a detailed breakdown between types of contamination. including microbes and most food materials. • • Inexpensive Immediately identifies obvious problems Drawbacks • Cannot detect microbiological contamination or non-visible cleaning agent residues 9.2: Traditional Swab/ Plate Methods Microbiological contamination. and cleaning fluid residues.1: Visual Inspection A visual inspection for visible soil on surfaces. This is achieved by the implementation of routine monitoring. The swabs are then analysed in a laboratory. it is very important that the effectiveness of the cleaning regime is monitored with respect to both removing soil and to reducing microbial contamination. • • Cannot be used for internal parts of processing equipment Subjective and non-quantitative 9. The system uses this chemical to produce visible light. it can be used as an indirect means of quantifying the amount of soil on a surface. The greater the amount of light or ‘bioluminescence’ produced. swabbing and cultural/detection methods or agar contact plates.

Advantages specialist equipment and are usually selfcontained tests that rely upon a single. A recent development has been colour hygiene kits that detect a group of compounds that are found in all living cells. such as fruit and vegetable processing environments. These tests have a similar role to ATP tests. Other kits detect the presence of residual carbohydrates and phosphates. Some kits have been developed to detect residual protein on a surface and rely upon this to determine the cleanliness of the surface. These kits detect proteins and amino acids and are suited to high-protein environments. giving an overall measure of cleaning effectiveness. 9.2: Colour hygiene tests Colour hygiene kits do not require any ATP kits were originally developed to measure numbers of microorganisms in food. php?hID= 2&nhID=16&pID=10 http://www. and they are claimed to be more sensitive than kits detecting protein residues.com/content.used to measure residue levels in cleaning liquids such as rinse waters.promega. especially dairy products. from cleaning chemicals) can affect the results Does not differentiate between general soiling and microorganisms Relatively high purchase and operating costs Advantages Single-use tests in processing environments and food preparation areas to determine the levels of food residues on surfaces. it is difficult to remove the large amounts of non-microbial ATP present in most foods.merck. Further information http://www.com/ http://pb. html#atp http://www.biotrace. Applications Rapid monitoring of food contact surfaces to measure cleaning effectiveness and to indicate when cleaning is necessary. • • • • Very rapid Can be used on site by unskilled operators Laboratory facilities not required Quantitative results Drawbacks Applications • • • Chemical residues (e. but with no need to use a luminometer. and have been developed for use where low-protein composite manufactured product residues may be present. and sometimes a series of colour changes.de/servlet/PB/menu/ 1108160/ index.html • • • • • Very rapid Can be used on site by unskilled operators Laboratory facilities not required Requires no purchase of equipment Relatively low consumable costs Drawbacks • • • Semi-quantitative tests Tend to be less sensitive than ATP tests Gives no indication of the microbial loading on the surface 44 .charm.aboatox. and so the method was adapted to measure the total amount of ATP in a sample.pdf http://www.com/hygiene_ monitoring.3. such as meat.g. However. to indicate the hygiene status of a surface.com/pdf/charmIIpocketswab.

biotest. 72.hygiena. En Key. Lelieveld H. Cambridge. 30.00 pounds.00 pounds. Chandos Publishing Ltd.charm. Sprenger R.Further information http://www. Chipping Campden CCFRA.com/ http://www. Highfield Publications.neogen.net/ http://www.de/microbiology/ tedisdata/prods/4976-1_31200_0001.. Thomas P. The food hygiene handbook.L.com/pdf/vericleen. Topics in Food Science and Technology No. Hygiene management in food factories. 4. GBP135.A.pdf http://www. Hutton T.merck.A.M. Mostert M. Introduction to hygiene in food processing. 2000...de/ http://service. 64pp. Oxford. 45 . Woodhead Publishing Ltd. 2001. 1999. White B. 2003.html Hygiene in food processing. 11th edition Doncaster. Holah J.

is available to download from the Internet.1. allowing the time to market to be cut considerably. In many cases. and an appropriate expert (e.10: Estimating Shelf Life and the Use of Predictive Models Establishing the shelf life of many food products can be an expensive and timeconsuming business. Simple mathematical calculations have existed for many years to predict the stability of some products. time to safety hazard.co. or factors affecting shelf life.ac. respectively. dynamic processing environments.uk/combase/ 10.3: Food Spoilage Predictor Developed by researchers in Australia.2: Forecast Campden and Chorleywood Research Association (CCFRA) has developed a collection of bacterial spoilage models.e. Used correctly. such as water activity or temperature. such as pickles and acid sauces. These are still applicable today although their application can be limited and not necessarily relevant to new product formulations that exploit the use of preservatives and/or alternative ingredients. final moisture content. A collection of predictive models using the ComBase data. Further information http://wyndmoor. and the only really effective way to establish shelf life is to keep the product under typical storage conditions until spoilage occurs. and ‘mould-free shelf life determination’ for bakery products.arserrc. modified atmospheres and new product types. survival and death of foodborne pathogens and spoilage organisms across a broad range of environments relating to foods.1. Ongoing research is increasing the range of models available through Forecast.ifr. For example. high-protein foods. publicly and freely available database of food microbiology data known as ComBase. a microbiologist for microbial safety and spoilage) should always be consulted.1: Combase The microbiological safety and likely spoilage of a range of food formulations can be predicted using the Internet-based. contains accumulated data on the growth. The system uses a 46 . ComBase. A great deal of experience is needed to interpret the output of the models. such as meat. It is essentially a process of informed trial and error. poultry and dairy products.) in a simple display form.gov/combase/ http://www. as well as considering the effects of fluctuating temperature. fish. these techniques can result in reduced product development times and costs. Food Spoilage Predictor can be used to predict the rate of microbial spoilage in a wide range of chilled. Forecast is available as a charged-for service. the ‘Preservation Index’ and ‘CIMSCEE’ models for acetic acid preserved products.uk/content. Any actions or changes to product formulations implemented as a result of the predictions must be validated by appropriate trials. The use of mathematical models to predict the shelf life and characteristics of different product formulations should always be used with caution and as a guide only. such as Microfit and Growth Predictor.htm 10. 10.campden. Further information http://www. But there are techniques now available that can be used to save a significant amount of time and expense by helping to predict what the shelf life will be. for many food groups. these models have been incorporated into software packages that display the results (i. predicted time for spoilage.g.1.1: Models Currently Available 10. etc. The advent of the personal computer allowed the development and broad application of complex equations or ‘mathematical models’ to predict shelf life.

models to determine the efficacy of packaging films in maintaining water activity of a product.g. Further information Further information http://www. 47 .min.bris. denoting end of shelf life.co. Coolvan predicts the temperature of food during a single/multi drop journey in a refrigerated van. After this time. the quality of frozen products does deteriorate during storage. UK.4: Seafood Spoilage Predictor The Water Analyzer Series of programs can be Seafood Spoilage Predictor can be used to predict the shelf life of seafood stored either under fluctuating temperatures or under constant temperature conditions.bigpond. Further information http://www.ac.com/ http://www. moisture and water activity of a product over time in a packaged product. The programs include: predicting water activity of a component mix. Knowing the changes of temperature in a food can help in predicting shelf life as well as enabling a producer to ensure that a chilled food will be at the correct temperature when it reaches the retailer.uk/publ/ pubfiles/ erhcalc.dk/micro/ssp/ used to predict water activity of component products under a range of differing conditions.1.dfu.7: Water Analyzer Series 10.6: Coolvan Developed by the Food Refrigeration and Process Engineering Research Centre. Bristol.htm webbtech/wateran. The software is available for purchase. It was developed by the Danish Institute for Fisheries Research and is available free on the Internet. 10.frperc.campden.users. 10. The software is available for purchase. vitamin C) and physical changes such as moisture loss or ice formation. the water activity of a product at different ambient temperatures. and the calculation of vitamin breakdown over time. Frozen foods can have flavour.1. It can predict remaining shelf life at any time in the cold chain and can also calculate total shelf life. the expected water activity of a product formulation and how this can be changed. From this data.2: Frozen Food Models Although frozen foods are not subject to the same deterioration by microbiological action as most chilled/ambient stored products. The system is available for purchase in the UK. loss in nutrients (e. it can be purchased.html Each model is available to download from the Internet free of charge for evaluation purposes for a limited period.5: ERH-CALC™ 10. Users can input basic recipe formulations and the software calculates the theoretical equilibrium relative humidity (ERH). textural or colour changes due to enzymatic action. models to determine the changes in The ERH-CALC™ software package is applicable for perishable bakery products. Many of these changes have been described in equations or 'mathematical models' to help predict shelf life. programs to determine a safe moisture content for a product to prevent mould or the amount of water that can safely be put in a product. Further information http://www. the model then predicts the mould-free shelf life (MFSL) of the ambient stored product (using a simple calculation for MFSL).htm 10. and a point will be reached where the product is no longer acceptable to the customer.uk/pub/ pub13.1.small data logger that is integrated with the software containing the models.1.

3: Accelerated Shelf Life Testing Another method of determining the shelf life of a product quickly is accelerated shelf life testing (ASLT). ASLT can be useful in very specific applications. Cambridge Woodhead Publishing Ltd. to determine the stability of edible oil. so that observations at the elevated temperature are not necessarily applicable at normal storage temperature. The extent of these changes can then be used to estimate the shelf life at the true storage temperature. for mould-free shelf life of bakery foods. The results of ASLT need to be interpreted with care. 10. Surprisingly. and where the practicality of storing samples for many months or even years would cause an unreasonable delay in the product coming to market. 107-128. This is particularly applicable to products where the anticipated shelf life is long.edu/Ted_Labuza/P DF_files/papers/Frozen%20Food%20Shel f%20Life% 20. usually by increasing the storage temperature. Kilcast D.For more information http://www. such as crisps. 48 . For example. This means that the changes that occur in a product during its life are speeded up.pdf Further information Accelerated shelf-life tests. such as: the determination of potential spoilage of canned foods in the tropics. ASLT is a means of compressing the life of the product into a shorter time-span. in most cases ASLT cannot be applied to the microbiological changes that occur in foods because microbes have specific temperature ranges in which they grow. spoilage of beer.umn.. and to study oil stability in situ in products. Subramaniam P. There are other physical issues in foods relating to shelf life that are changed by raising the temperature. Elevated temperatures can often prevent a microorganism from growing. Mizrahi S.fsci. or can permit the growth of microorganisms not relevant at the normal storage temperature of the product. to study bloom development on chocolate. However. it is also possible to apply ASLT to some frozen foods. 2000. The stability and shelf-life of food. biscuits and margarines.

gov. Aspen Publishers. Food and Rural Affairs: http://www.uk/ The Society of Food Hygiene and Technology.food. Web site: http://www.org/ Technology transfer centres The Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have funded Regional Food Technology Transfer Centre that act as a point of contact for small and medium-sized regional 49 .A. Snowdon Drive. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7854 8900 http://www. Oxford Blackwell Science Ltd.foodstandards. Eskin N.uk/ Health Protection Agency: http://www.gov.A. Bristol House.org/ Food and Drink Federation (FDF). MK6 1AX.aspx Fresh Produce Consortium (UK). Tel: +44 (0) 207 836 2460. Kettering. Kilcast D. Picton House. London.org/ Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene: http://www. 113pp. Web site: http://www. BS1 6BY.bccca. Man C.uk/ British Sandwich Association.uk/home.ifst.11: Sources of Further Information General reading Shelf life. Cambridge. Tel: +44 (0) 1733 237117. Bristol. Chocolate and Confectionery Alliance (BCCCA). Web site: http://www. Woodhead Publishing Ltd. The stability and shelf-life of food. Shelf-life evaluation of foods. Tel +44 (0) 117 929 0661. 2000. Robinson D..guidelines for its determination and prediction. London. Minerva House.brc. 21 Dartmouth Street.org.mlc. Cake.uk/ The UK Food Standards Agency: http://www. Shelf life of foods . Head Office. biochemical and microbiological changes.hpa. Food shelf life stability: chemical. PO Box 44. Tel +44 (0) 207 404 9111.riphh. Peterborough.uk/ Trade associations Biscuit. SW1H 9BP. Winterhill House.soilassociation. Subramaniam P. 1993. PO Box 6434. IFST.sofht. 2002.uk/ Hygiene advice from the UK Food Standards Agency: http://cleanup. Web site: http://www. Milton Keynes.org. 37-41 Bedford Row. CRC Press.D. Boca Raton. Gloucestershire. Internet Department of Environment. http://www. Jones A. Gaithersburg.gov. London WC2B 5JJ. Lynch Wood.uk/ Soil Association.99.defra. Lower Church Street.uk/ British Retail Consortium.M..freshproduce. 2000. Tel: +44 (0) 1235 821820. En. Web site: http://www.org. 2nd edition. 40-56 Victoria Street. NN15 5XT. Tel: +44 (0) 1908 677577. GBP19.org. PE2 6AR. Web site: http://www.fdf.uk/ Chilled Food Association (CFA).S.org. Minerva Business Park.sandwich. 6 Catherine Street.uk/ Institute of Food Science and Technology: http://www.org. Tel: +44 (0) 1536 515395.uk/ Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC).co. Meat and Livestock Commission.org. 2000. Food Industry Briefing Series.M. Chepstow. NP16 5XT.chilledfood. Web site: http://www.org.. London WC1R 4JH. Institute of Food Science and Technology. Man D.

co.uk/ London Food Centre (London): Tel: 020 7815 7988 http://londonfood.lfra. html Food Technology Centre (Middlesbrough): Tel: 01642 499113 http://sst.nwfoodcentre.campden. Tel: 01636 817000 http://science.ac.ac.ac.com/ East Midlands Food Technology Centre (Nottingham). html CHARIS (Ayr): Tel: 01292 670166 http://www.tees.org.uk/ Chartered Institute of Environmental Health http://www.uk/sfdsn1.htm Training courses Campden and Chorleywood Research Association http://www.ntu.uk/ Please note: Leatherhead Food International uses every possible care in compiling. 50 .uk/schools/slm/fic/ Food Knowledge and Know-How (Reading): Tel: 0118 9316520 http://www.shu.agrifoodcentre.co.uk/flashframeset. preparing and issuing the information herein given.food companies with food-related technical needs.uk/ftc/ Food Innovation Centre (Sheffield): Tel: 0114 2253976 http://www.fkk-reading.cieh. Agrifood Centre (Newton Abbot): Tel: 01626 325858 http://www.co.sari. but can accept no liability whatsoever in connection with it.hri.org/training/courses/ foodsafety/ Leatherhead Food International http://www.uk/ North West Food Centre (Manchester) Tel: 0161 247 2493 http://www.co.ac.uk/external/fhc/ organisation.

fpfaraday.com Leatherhead Food International Randalls Road Leatherhead Surrey KT22 7RY T: +44(0)1372 376761 F: +44(0)1372 386228 www.lfra.co.Food Processing Faraday Partnership Ltd Innovation Park Melton Mowbray Leicestershire LE13 0PB T: +44(0)1664 503640 F: +44(0)1664 503641 www.uk .

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