- Zhang, Howard; Ukuku, Dike; Sites, Joseph; Jin, Zhonglin (Tony); Gurtler, Joshua; Geveke, David; Fan, Xuetong
- USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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- Determine the kinetics and mechanisms of inactivation of pathogens and their surrogates by PEF and RFEF technologies;
- Develop, evaluate and validate PEF and RFEF alone and in combination with other processes to ensure safety and security of fresh apple cider, fresh orange juice and liquid egg;
- Evaluate quality, shelf life and cost of products processed by PEF, RFEF and combinational processes, and packaged aseptically or with antimicrobial agents, in comparison to thermal pasteurization.
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- Approach: Integrate disciplines of microbiology, engineering and chemistry to provide consumers
with safe and high quality food products. Our microbiologists will lead the research
in determining the mechanisms and kinetics of microbial inactivation, microbial
shelf-life evaluations and product safety evaluations. Our engineers and food
technologists will develop and validate novel processes and packaging technologies
and evaluate associated cost. Our chemist and food technologists will lead the
quality and shelf-life evaluations and consumer acceptance studies.
From a food product point of view, the raw food materials will be processed and packaged to ensure safety and to maintain the fresh quality. Process conditions will be determined to achieve the food safety objectives set forth by the log reduction required for the pathogen of concern. Kinetics of microbial inactivation and models provide process set points to achieve food safety objectives. The kinetic models also serve as tools for risk assessment when deviations take place in raw product composition, microbial load and/or processing conditions. Identification of the mechanisms of microbial inactivation will help understand the process and define the direction in process optimization. We will also work with our collaborators in regulatory agencies, industry and other ARS laboratories, to identify the pathogens of concern and suitable surrogates and to define food safety objectives for each product.
- Funding Source
- Agricultural Research Service
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- Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication
- Sanitation and Quality Standards
- Packaging Residues