Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association Group (CCFRA), which produced the guide, sayspasteurisation is assuming a greater prominence in processing and preservation as a result ofthe higher demand for minimially processed products.
Pasteurisation, a heat treatment method, is being increasing used to reduce the number ofpathogenic and spoilage organisms in foods over a designated shelf life.
The technique can be applied to foods as diverse as dairy products, fruit, drinks, vegetables,meat fish, sauces meats, baked goods and extruded products. The heat treatment method usestemperatures ranging from 60C to 115C, depending on the food or drink being processed, the pH,storage temperature, pack atmosphere and water activity.
CCFRA expects that demands for fresher, healthier products, including the consumption of fruitsand vegetables, and packaged foods with less salt and reduced fat will continue to increase in thefuture.
"The implication of such trends on the food industry will be the increased demand forminimally processed foods with few preservatives, the lowest possible heat treatments andshelf-lives that maintain 'freshness' and nutritional value," the guide states. "Themicrobiological food safety consequences of minimal processing can be very complicated particularlywhen the key organisms of concern are vegetative pathogens or toxin-forming sporeformers."
The CCFRA guide deals with the principles of pasteurisation and examines the use of the processin a wide range of manufacturing conditions, including in relation to the food's pH, curing, format,composition and packaging criteria.
The guide also explains how pasteurisation process should be validate and tabulates a list oftypical treatments.
In order to determine the parameters under which different foods may be subjected topasteurisation treatments, processors need to ensure a set of procedures throughout the supply chainup to the point of delivery to the customer, and perhaps even in the home.
Such procedures include the evaluation of the microbiological quality of the raw materials, theirhandling, storage conditions, pathogen contamination potential and their heat resistance, themaximum temperature at which product quality degrades, the food's formulation, end use, coolingparameters, and the type of packaging used, among other parameters.
The second edition of CCFRA's 'Pasteurisation: A Food Industry Practical Guide' is written by J.E. Gaze.