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Running Standard Plate Counts on Hummus

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#1 kyle.mcc

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 07:31 PM

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Edited by kyle.mcc, 08 May 2014 - 01:59 AM.

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#2 Charles.C

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 12:16 AM

dear kyle.mcc,

 

no experience with hummus but count of 860/g looks low. what is standard?

not sure what you mean by simple, most micro.measuremernts require equipment, eg incubators.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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#3 kyle.mcc

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 12:50 AM

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Edited by kyle.mcc, 08 May 2014 - 02:01 AM.

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#4 SUSHIL

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 04:56 AM

Hello Mr  Kyle,                 ,

If you cannot give your Product to outside laboratories, then you will have to set up your own laboratory with the appointment of full time Microbiologist.

Setting up microbial lab will cost you lot of Money.

You will require separate clean room for conducting microbial testings with U.V. lamps fitted on ceiling of room to decontaminate room. Laminar air flow/or conducting tests in between two gas burners, incubators for incubating test samples, Oven for sterilising petri dishes/pipettes kept in containers, Nichro


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#5 kyle.mcc

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 05:08 AM

bump


Edited by kyle.mcc, 08 May 2014 - 02:01 AM.

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#6 Tony-C

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 05:19 AM

Hello, 

 

I own a hummus company and we about to expand our products throughout several more grocery stores. I had my hummus tested and the counts came back too high (see below). I will be using a different acid and caustic to clean the equipment we run on to get the numbers lower. I need to begin running some standard tests on the dip to monitor the improvements. I would like to run, ATCP, Yeast, Mold, Coliforms, and E. Coli. Does anyone know of a website that sells simple kits to run these tests along with a how-to guide for running the sample? 

 

I tried to upload a photo of my current test results but it will not let me upload over 1KB. An example of what CUF's I am getting are as follows:

 

ATCP 860

Yeast 690

Mold 30

Coliforms <10

E. Coli.<10

(aw) .66%

 

Best,

Kyle

 

Hi Kyle,

 

If you want to use rapid methods rather than traditional there is some info here http://rapidmicromet...iles/matrix.php and here http://www.mybiolumix.com/

 

It seems that you have a Y&M issue predominantly and you will want to find the source of that, it may be environmental. What pH is your product?

 

Regards,

 

Tony


Edited by Tony-C, 09 October 2013 - 05:20 AM.

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#7 mehraj.udct

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 05:36 AM

3MM kits are also available but you need incubator.

If I am not wrong then Hummus is prepared by chick pea, garlic, olive oil and salt.

I suggest you also check the microbial count of your raw materials it might be the source of high microbial count.

what about the quality of water used for soaking and cooking?


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#8 Charles.C

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 05:39 AM

Dear kyle.mcc,

 

One route, as indicated by Tony is to use "rapid" tests.

One popular option is for example 3M's Petrifilm series. These will handle all the parameters you mention although the low levels you refer may be a sensitivity problem since I presume your product will necessitate diluted solutions. Same comment for routine methodologies also (MPN methods are usually mandatory for the levels you are getting). Predictably, the running cost compared to re-usable plates will increase.

 

http://solutions.3m....Vbe29BDXSBJ7Fgl

 

As i said, hv no experience yr product but for most foods a routine plate count of <100/g is never seen in typical micro. standards for non-sterile items ?(and rarely IMEX < 10^3 also) (Hence my earlier query).

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

PS - previous post not seen until after posting :smile:


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#9 SUSHIL

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 06:59 AM

Hello Mr  Kyle,   

(my above post seems to have not loaded properly hence reposting the topic)               ,

If you cannot give your Product to outside laboratories, then you will have to set up your own laboratory with the appointment of full time Microbiologist.

Setting up microbial lab will cost you lot of Money.

 

You will require separate clean room for conducting microbial testings with U.V. lamps fitted on ceiling of room to decontaminate room. Laminar air flow/or conducting tests in between two gas burners, incubators for incubating test samples, Oven for sterilising petri dishes/pipettes kept in containers, Nichrome wire for inoculating etc.

 

Colony counters, Microscopes, Autoclaves for sterilising reconstituted Medias (to be bought from reputed manufacturers examples DIFCO/ OXOID etc),pH meter for adjusting pH of medias, constant temperature water baths to keep medias in molten condition before conducting tests, glasswares (test tubes, flasks) cotton wool, aluminium foil and lot of other things like chemicals, seras  for serological testing etc.Distilled water apparatus/or demineralised water etc.

You have to carry out the tests as per the regulatory requirements of the country for the product you are manufacturing and can do the tests as per your country’s established standards or any ISO standards.

 

Common tests in most countries are- Microbiological Standards

Total Aerobic Plate (Aerobic plate count),Yeasts and Molds, Coliforms, E.coli (negative per 25gms of product),Salmonella (negative per 25gms of product), Staphylococcus aureus (Coagulase positive- negative per 10 gms),Listeria monocytogenes (negative) etc.

To keep your microbial load Total Aerobic Plate (APC) <100/g, you have to control microbial load of your raw materials  (certificate of analysis from raw material manufacturer) (chick peas,spices by proper processing and handling )and avoiding cross contaminations, using good manufacturing practices (GMP),clean air of processing areas, using packing material of low microbial counts/decontaminating packaging material by exposure to U.V. lights etc and lot of other factors like personnel hygiene etc.

 

Microbiological  Testing-

For Total Aerobic Plate  you will require-

Plate Count Agar (Standard Plate Count Agar) is recommended for the determination of plate counts of microorganisms in food, water and waste water.

 

Yeasts and Molds- Potato Dextrose agar  (chloramphenicol to be added as bacteria inhibitor)is recommended for the isolation and enumeration of yeasts and moulds from dairy and other food products.

OR

Yeast Glucose Chloramphenicol Agar is a selective agar recommended for enumerating yeasts and moulds in milk

and milk products.

 

Lactose Broth is used as a general purpose nutrient medium which can support growth of not particularly fastidious bacteria.(pre enrichment broth for e..coli and salmonella)

E.Coli / Coliform

Violet Red Bile Agar is selective medium used for the isolation, detection and enumeration of coli-aerogenes bacteria

in water, milk and other dairy food products..

MacConkey Agar is recommended for selective isolation and differentiation of E.coli and other enteric bacteria from pharmaceutical products in accordance with the microbial limit testing by harmonized methodology of USP/EP/BP/JP.

 

Brilliant Green Bile Broth 2% is recommended for the detection and confirmation of coliform bacteria in water,

wastewater, foods, milk and dairy products.

EMB Agar (Levine) is recommended for the isolation, enumeration and differentiation of members of Enterobacteriaceae

MR-VP Medium (Glucose Phosphate Broth) is recommended for the performance of the Methyl Red and Voges-

Proskauer tests in differentiation of the coli-aerogenes group.

And constant temp water bath for thermotolerant e.coli for growth at temp of 44-45degrees centigrade

Staphylococcus aureus

Soyabean Casein Digest Medium (Tryptone Soya Broth) for pre enrichment.

OR

Tryptone Soya Broth with 10% NaCl and 1% Sodium pyruvate is recommended for enumeration of Staphylococcus

aureus in dairy products by MPN technique.

Vogel-Johnson Agar Base (V.J. Agar) with addition of potassium tellurite is recommended for selective isolation

of coagulase positive, mannitol fermenting Staphylococcus aureus from heavily contaminated foods and clinical

specimens.

Brain Heart Infusion Broth for growing coagulase positive staphylococcus aureus

and then coagulase testing (rabbit plasma)

Listeria

Listeria Identification Agar Base

Salmonella

Selenite Cystine Broth Base

It is recommended as a selective enrichment media for Salmonella and possibly Shigella sonnei from faeces,

urine, water and foodstuffs.

Bismuth Sulphite Agar is recommended for the selective isolation and preliminary identification of Salmonella Typhi and

other Salmonellae from pathological materials, sewage, water supplies, food etc.Xylose-Lysine Deoxycholate Agar (XLD Agar) is a selective medium recommended for the isolation and enumeration of Salmonella Typhi and other Salmonella species

Hektoen Enteric Agar Medium is recommended for differential and selective isolation of Salmonella and Shigella

species from enteric pathological specimens in accordance to United States Pharmacopoeia.

Triple Sugar Iron Agar is recommended for identification of members of Enterobacteriaceae especially

Salmonella species

and then serological testing for salmonella.

 

examples of media attached

Attached Files


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#10 cazyncymru

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:01 AM

Couple of questions Kyle

Are you cooing your chick peas on site?
What pH are you looking at in your final product?
What is the micro loading like on your Tahini / ingredients?
Are you adding any flavourings?
Are you adding any other preservative?
Do you positive release your plant after cleaning?
Are you fogging in this area?
is the finish product blast chilled?

Caz x


Edited by cazyncymru, 09 October 2013 - 09:02 AM.

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#11 kyle.mcc

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 12:40 AM

Hi Kyle,

 

If you want to use rapid methods rather than traditional there is some info here http://rapidmicromet...iles/matrix.php and here http://www.mybiolumix.com/

 

It seems that you have a Y&M issue predominantly and you will want to find the source of that, it may be environmental. What pH is your product?

 

Regards,

 

Tony

Tony,

 

On the test they just ran I did not get results on Ph. I need to buy a Ph testing kit and I will try it out. 

 

Thanks for the tip!

 

Kyle


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#12 kyle.mcc

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 12:41 AM

3MM kits are also available but you need incubator.

If I am not wrong then Hummus is prepared by chick pea, garlic, olive oil and salt.

I suggest you also check the microbial count of your raw materials it might be the source of high microbial count.

what about the quality of water used for soaking and cooking?

I heard about the 3M and want to buy an incubator. I will buy one in a month or so. We make our hummus of almonds, nothing is soaked, we just filtered water in the product.

 

Best,

Kyle


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#13 kyle.mcc

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 12:44 AM

Hello Mr  Kyle,   

(my above post seems to have not loaded properly hence reposting the topic)               ,

If you cannot give your Product to outside laboratories, then you will have to set up your own laboratory with the appointment of full time Microbiologist.

Setting up microbial lab will cost you lot of Money.

 

You will require separate clean room for conducting microbial testings with U.V. lamps fitted on ceiling of room to decontaminate room. Laminar air flow/or conducting tests in between two gas burners, incubators for incubating test samples, Oven for sterilising petri dishes/pipettes kept in containers, Nichrome wire for inoculating etc.

 

Colony counters, Microscopes, Autoclaves for sterilising reconstituted Medias (to be bought from reputed manufacturers examples DIFCO/ OXOID etc),pH meter for adjusting pH of medias, constant temperature water baths to keep medias in molten condition before conducting tests, glasswares (test tubes, flasks) cotton wool, aluminium foil and lot of other things like chemicals, seras  for serological testing etc.Distilled water apparatus/or demineralised water etc.

You have to carry out the tests as per the regulatory requirements of the country for the product you are manufacturing and can do the tests as per your country’s established standards or any ISO standards.

 

Common tests in most countries are- Microbiological Standards

Total Aerobic Plate (Aerobic plate count),Yeasts and Molds, Coliforms, E.coli (negative per 25gms of product),Salmonella (negative per 25gms of product), Staphylococcus aureus (Coagulase positive- negative per 10 gms),Listeria monocytogenes (negative) etc.

To keep your microbial load Total Aerobic Plate (APC) <100/g, you have to control microbial load of your raw materials  (certificate of analysis from raw material manufacturer) (chick peas,spices by proper processing and handling )and avoiding cross contaminations, using good manufacturing practices (GMP),clean air of processing areas, using packing material of low microbial counts/decontaminating packaging material by exposure to U.V. lights etc and lot of other factors like personnel hygiene etc.

 

Microbiological  Testing-

For Total Aerobic Plate  you will require-

Plate Count Agar (Standard Plate Count Agar) is recommended for the determination of plate counts of microorganisms in food, water and waste water.

 

Yeasts and Molds- Potato Dextrose agar  (chloramphenicol to be added as bacteria inhibitor)is recommended for the isolation and enumeration of yeasts and moulds from dairy and other food products.

OR

Yeast Glucose Chloramphenicol Agar is a selective agar recommended for enumerating yeasts and moulds in milk

and milk products.

 

Lactose Broth is used as a general purpose nutrient medium which can support growth of not particularly fastidious bacteria.(pre enrichment broth for e..coli and salmonella)

E.Coli / Coliform

Violet Red Bile Agar is selective medium used for the isolation, detection and enumeration of coli-aerogenes bacteria

in water, milk and other dairy food products..

MacConkey Agar is recommended for selective isolation and differentiation of E.coli and other enteric bacteria from pharmaceutical products in accordance with the microbial limit testing by harmonized methodology of USP/EP/BP/JP.

 

Brilliant Green Bile Broth 2% is recommended for the detection and confirmation of coliform bacteria in water,

wastewater, foods, milk and dairy products.

EMB Agar (Levine) is recommended for the isolation, enumeration and differentiation of members of Enterobacteriaceae

MR-VP Medium (Glucose Phosphate Broth) is recommended for the performance of the Methyl Red and Voges-

Proskauer tests in differentiation of the coli-aerogenes group.

And constant temp water bath for thermotolerant e.coli for growth at temp of 44-45degrees centigrade

Staphylococcus aureus

Soyabean Casein Digest Medium (Tryptone Soya Broth) for pre enrichment.

OR

Tryptone Soya Broth with 10% NaCl and 1% Sodium pyruvate is recommended for enumeration of Staphylococcus

aureus in dairy products by MPN technique.

Vogel-Johnson Agar Base (V.J. Agar) with addition of potassium tellurite is recommended for selective isolation

of coagulase positive, mannitol fermenting Staphylococcus aureus from heavily contaminated foods and clinical

specimens.

Brain Heart Infusion Broth for growing coagulase positive staphylococcus aureus

and then coagulase testing (rabbit plasma)

Listeria

Listeria Identification Agar Base

Salmonella

Selenite Cystine Broth Base

It is recommended as a selective enrichment media for Salmonella and possibly Shigella sonnei from faeces,

urine, water and foodstuffs.

Bismuth Sulphite Agar is recommended for the selective isolation and preliminary identification of Salmonella Typhi and

other Salmonellae from pathological materials, sewage, water supplies, food etc.Xylose-Lysine Deoxycholate Agar (XLD Agar) is a selective medium recommended for the isolation and enumeration of Salmonella Typhi and other Salmonella species

Hektoen Enteric Agar Medium is recommended for differential and selective isolation of Salmonella and Shigella

species from enteric pathological specimens in accordance to United States Pharmacopoeia.

Triple Sugar Iron Agar is recommended for identification of members of Enterobacteriaceae especially

Salmonella species

and then serological testing for salmonella.

 

examples of media attached

Thank you thank you thank you! A wealth of knowledge, thanks for this post!!

 

Best,

Kyle


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#14 kyle.mcc

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 12:48 AM

Couple of questions Kyle

Are you cooing your chick peas on site?
What pH are you looking at in your final product?
What is the micro loading like on your Tahini / ingredients?
Are you adding any flavourings?
Are you adding any other preservative?
Do you positive release your plant after cleaning?
Are you fogging in this area?
is the finish product blast chilled?

Caz x

Are you cooing your chick peas on site? 

NO, NOTHING IS COOKED

What pH are you looking at in your final product?

I AM IN THE PROCESSES OF BUYING A PH TESTER

What is the micro loading like on your Tahini / ingredients?

WE USE ALMONDS IN THE HUMMUS AND THEY ARE PASTEURIZED, <100 CFU

Are you adding any flavourings?

YES I AM ADDING FLAVORS, I HAVE SEVERAL FLAVORS, HABANERO, JALAPENO, CHIPOTLE (I USE POWDERS FOR ALL THESE INGREDIENTS)

Are you adding any other preservative?

NOT ADDING ANY, I AM LOOKING AT CONDUCTING HPP ON THE DIP

Do you positive release your plant after cleaning?

I AM LOOKING AT MADISON 75 FOR A CLEANER, RIGHT NOW WE ARE NOT USING ANY HEAVY DUTY STERILIZATION

Are you fogging in this area?

NO

is the finish product blast chilled?

IT IS NOT BLAST CHILLED, IT IS PLACED DIRECTLY INTO A ROOM THAT IS 37 DEGREE.

 

Thanks!

Kyle.mcc


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#15 cazyncymru

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 10:06 AM

I would have thought that after HPP that you'd have a <10 cfu/g count on everything!

With regards to pH, aren't you using this as a safety mechanism, especially with regards to Listeria?

Also, I take it you are using Tahini. Beware as it has been implicated in a food safety scare with regards to houmous.

How are you getting the chick peas? are they canned?

Do you get a CoA for the ingredients? if not then you should have a micro testing schedule in place for all ingredients.

Is the houmous being sold as an ambient product?

Caz


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#16 cazyncymru

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 10:08 AM

I tried to upload a photo of my current test results but it will not let me upload over 1KB. An example of what CUF's I am getting are as follows:
 
ATCP 860
Yeast 690
Mold 30
Coliforms <10
E. Coli.<10
(aw) .66%
 
Best,
Kyle


Are these figures start or end of life?

Caz
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#17 ptbrauch

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:44 PM

3M petrifilm will meet all your needs, is very easy to do, and won't require a lot of capital.  If you contact them, depending on where you are located, they could possibly have a representative come by and show you how they work.  


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#18 kyle.mcc

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 01:26 AM

I would have thought that after HPP that you'd have a <10 cfu/g count on everything!

With regards to pH, aren't you using this as a safety mechanism, especially with regards to Listeria?

Also, I take it you are using Tahini. Beware as it has been implicated in a food safety scare with regards to houmous.

How are you getting the chick peas? are they canned?

Do you get a CoA for the ingredients? if not then you should have a micro testing schedule in place for all ingredients.

Is the houmous being sold as an ambient product?

Caz

Caz, 

 

The figures are at the start of the product.

 

Right now we dont have any formal testing for the product. We sell roughly 2,000 units per week through farmers markets. I need to get the shelf life squared away and proper cleaning in order to increase the grocery stores. I get the CoA on some of the raw materials but not all of them. We use almonds instead of chickpeas and they come in the form of almond meal in a sealed box.

 

Thanks,

Kyle


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#19 cazyncymru

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 08:57 AM

I would say that having 690 yeasts at start of life is high! The product will be fermenting, especially if stored at 37C. You should be looking at <10

Caz


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#20 Dr.Des

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:24 AM

Hi Kyle,

looking at your original post, I wouldn't consider those counts particularly high - the main thing is that there is no indication of faecal contamination. I guess the main worry is the fungi as they are the most likely to spoil your product. The cleanliness of your raw ingredients and plant will be critical in reducing these - it seems most unlikely that you'll eliminate them as they're a natural part of the ingredients, you can only hope to control them.

 

I would personally not recommend an on-site lab for small producers - it is a huge capital investment, and you are greatly increasing the risk of contaminating your plant.

 

In this country, porducers of ready to eat products such as hummus have to demonstrate the safety of their product especially in relation to Listeria, and they are legally obliged to use an accredited lab for that testing. Also, for shelf-life labelling, they are 'recommended' to use an accredited lab. With so much going to outside labs, it makes economic sense to also use them for routine testing.

I assume you will be using an outsdie lab for pathogen teseting anyway?


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#21 Tony-C

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:52 AM

We use almonds instead of chickpeas and they come in the form of almond meal in a sealed box.

 

Thanks,

Kyle

 

:yikes:

 

That may be quite a surprise to people buying Hummus. Is your product clearly lablled with an Almond allergy warning?

 

Regards,

 

Tony


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#22 cazyncymru

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 10:52 AM

:yikes:
 
That may be quite a surprise to people buying Hummus. Is your product clearly lablled with an Almond allergy warning?
 
Regards,
 
Tony


Not sure what country your in, but are you allowed to call it Hummus? Hummus is Arabic for chickpea.
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#23 Charles.C

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 01:14 PM

Dear All,

 

Just for interest, here is some micro.data on (chickpea) hummus -

 

Attached File  hummus - micro.spec.commercial hummus base -10702030-1.pdf   27.19KB   58 downloads

Attached File  hummus - micro.data traditional (restaurant) and reference samples.png   178.38KB   29 downloads

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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#24 kyle.mcc

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 06:27 PM

Hi Kyle,

looking at your original post, I wouldn't consider those counts particularly high - the main thing is that there is no indication of faecal contamination. I guess the main worry is the fungi as they are the most likely to spoil your product. The cleanliness of your raw ingredients and plant will be critical in reducing these - it seems most unlikely that you'll eliminate them as they're a natural part of the ingredients, you can only hope to control them.

 

I would personally not recommend an on-site lab for small producers - it is a huge capital investment, and you are greatly increasing the risk of contaminating your plant.

 

In this country, porducers of ready to eat products such as hummus have to demonstrate the safety of their product especially in relation to Listeria, and they are legally obliged to use an accredited lab for that testing. Also, for shelf-life labelling, they are 'recommended' to use an accredited lab. With so much going to outside labs, it makes economic sense to also use them for routine testing.

I assume you will be using an outsdie lab for pathogen teseting anyway?

Dr. Des,

 

great reply! Thank you for your advice! I am currently having a lab conduct my tests. After everyone's replies it appears I will continue to have the 3rd party company run tests on my product because the cost will be to great for me to run tests seldomly. 

 

Best,

Kyle.mcc


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#25 kyle.mcc

kyle.mcc

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 06:31 PM

I would say that having 690 yeasts at start of life is high! The product will be fermenting, especially if stored at 37C. You should be looking at <10

Caz

Caz,

 

I am storing the dip at about 3 Celsius; 37 Fahrenheit. The product also contains nutritional yeast from Red Star, here is a link about what I use: 

 

http://en.wikipedia....tritional_yeast

 

Do you think that having a dead nutritional yeast in the product will yield high yeast counts? I asked this question to the microbiologist when they ran tests on the dip and they did not know the answer to that question.

 

Best,

Kyle


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