S45 Can Old Processes Satisfy New Rules? Pathogen Reduction in Legacy Processes for Low-moisture Foods

Tuesday, July 11, 2017: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Ballroom A (Tampa Convention Center)
Primary Contact: Bradley Marks
Organizer: Bradley Marks
Convenors: Elizabeth Grasso-Kelley and Sanghyup Jeong
A wide portion of the low-moisture food processing industry is comprised of legacy thermal processes (e.g., roasting, toasting, baking, drying) that were historically designed, implemented, and operated to achieve food quality goals, rather than food safety outcomes. However, under the FSMA Preventive Controls rules, such processes must be validated to achieve appropriate pathogen (Salmonella) reduction, regardless of their historical track record, unless additional unit operations are specifically implemented for pasteurization. Given the enhanced thermal resistance of Salmonella in low-moisture systems, the dynamic and complex heat and mass transfer phenomena occurring during these processes, and the difficulty in real-time monitoring of critical variables, validation of such processes is not a trivial task. Additionally, particularly for small and medium-sized processors, investment in stand-alone pasteurization technologies might not be feasible, making validation and/or modification of existing processes essential from both a regulatory and economic perspective. Therefore, this symposium will present analyses of three possible pathways for processors to meet this challenge: (1) Using a systems (hurdle) approach to ensuring pathogen reduction in low moisture foods; (2) Modifying existing processes that might otherwise be insufficient as traditionally operated, in order to enhance pathogen reduction; and (3) Choosing among various options for stand-alone pasteurization technologies. The speakers will present an overview of these approaches, including the regulatory expectations, recent research results across multiple products and processes, and a critical review of the state-of-technology for pasteurization options, from the perspective of multi-criteria decision analysis.


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