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Processing Intervention Technologies for Enhancing the Safety and Security of Fluid Food and beverages


<OL> <LI> Determine the kinetics and mechanisms of inactivation of pathogens and their
surrogates by PEF and RFEF technologies; <LI> 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; <LI> 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. <p>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

Zhang, Howard; Ukuku, Dike; Sites, Joseph; Jin, Zhonglin (Tony); Gurtler, Joshua; Geveke, David; Fan, Xuetong
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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