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Bloating of packed fruit preserves

complaint bloating fruit preserves

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#1 Lorbi

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 03:03 AM

Good day everyone,

 

Our company produces fruit preserves as ingredients of a common dessert in our country. It is packed in a Nylon PE bag, pasteurized and chilled. However, most of the complaints we receive is the bloating of our packed products. As to my research the possible reason of this problem is due to temperature abuse. Also, the bloating is due to fermentation that caused spoilage. This might be due to improper storage of the products to the required temperature. But, as we can trace, the only time that the products are removed from its required chilling temperature is during dispatching and happens in a short period of time which cannot abruptly react with spoilage microorganisms, right? And if it is the cause of the problem, the product must bloat within a week due to fermentation, right? However, upon checking our customer's complaint, the bloating happened 15 days upon delivery to their warehouse and almost a month from the date of the production. What else can you see as the possible reason for this problem? Hope someone could help.

 

Thank you!

 

 

Lorbi  :helpplease:


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#2 redfox

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 02:06 PM

Hello Lorbi,

 

We are also packing using pouches in our product but it is ROP. Pasteurized and chilled. 

 

Possible causes are:

1. Under-pasteurized (target F-value was not reached)

2. Chiller temperature (was it monitored and recorded in real time?)

3. Had the temperature of your customer warehouse temperature been checked?

4.Micro-leak of pouches on sealing line and body

 

If everything in your storage and distribution is right, I suggest you verify your PRPs, oPRPs and you pasteurizer temperature and heat distribution. I assume your process has been validated already.

 

FDC and Ellab can assist you in validating your process.

 

Hope this could help.

 

regards,

redfox


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#3 Lorbi

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 02:29 AM

Hello Redfox,

 

Thank you so much for your response. I have also considered that four factors. But I have justifications for each of them. So, I arrived at the conclusion that the problem was due to temp abuse upon delivery. I need your insights on these:

 

1. Under-pasteurized: We pasteur our products by batch but bloating occurs only to 1 to 2 out of 100 to 150 packs which made it a very isolated case. We have also checked the heat distribution on the products and it passed our standard.

2. Chiller temperature: Yes, it is monitored and recorded 4 times a day.

3. Warehouse temp of customer: We really haven't checked our customer's storage. But every time we reply to their complaints regarding temperature abuse, they always say that they have the right temperature.  :yeahrite:

4. Micro-leaking: I have also considered this but I don't have any way to verify that this is the cause. How do you verify yours?

 

Thank you so much for your help. What is ROP by the way?

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Lorbi


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#4 Lorbi

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 02:51 AM

To give you further details, the bloating happened 15 to 17 days after delivery (this is almost a month after it has been produced). Thanks.  :ejut:


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#5 Charles.C

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 08:08 AM

Hi Lorbi,

May I add one more query -

Do you have multiple customers for the product having difficulties ?

If yes do the production codes match those commented on by yr complainee, ie are produced under the same conditions, of comparable quantities, and distributed in same way ?

If yes but complaints only come from the one customer this could be one more indicator.

Afaik, ROP = reduced oxygen packing


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#6 Lorbi

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 08:28 AM

Hi Charles,

 

We only have one customer for the affected products. However, we have products processed and distributed the same way to another client but we have not received complaints on the same production codes.

 

Thanks, btw, for the meaning of ROP.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lorbi


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#7 Lorbi

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 08:34 AM

Hi Charles,

 

We only have one customer for the affected products. However, we have products processed and distributed the same way to another client but we have not received complaints on the same production codes.

 

Thanks, btw, for the meaning of ROP.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lorbi

 

I think my previous reply is confusing. The products we produced have different formulations per client but are processed and distributed the same way.


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#8 Charles.C

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 10:00 AM

Hi Lorbi,

 

Thks for replies.

 

Unfortunately, except perhaps for processors of similar products, difficult to comment much on the process without specific details, eg product mix / validation of pasturization / cooling T/t information, shelf-life/storage conditions.

 

A few more queries -

 

What is the recommended shelf-life / storage temperature ?.

 

i deduce that the frequency of defects reported by customer on problem lots is significantly greater than your own (1-2 %) data. A lot greater ?

 

Have you done any extended storage testing (ie > 15 days) for the lot codes (or parallel, similar formulation ones)  which received complaints ?. Results (if any) ?

 

 

 


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#9 redfox

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 01:58 PM

Hello Redfox,

 

Thank you so much for your response. I have also considered that four factors. But I have justifications for each of them. So, I arrived at the conclusion that the problem was due to temp abuse upon delivery. I need your insights on these:

 

1. Under-pasteurized: We pasteur our products by batch but bloating occurs only to 1 to 2 out of 100 to 150 packs which made it a very isolated case. We have also checked the heat distribution on the products and it passed our standard. 

 

2. Chiller temperature: Yes, it is monitored and recorded 4 times a day.

 

3. Warehouse temp of customer: We really haven't checked our customer's storage. But every time we reply to their complaints regarding temperature abuse, they always say that they have the right temperature.   :yeahrite:

 

4. Micro-leaking: I have also considered this but I don't have any way to verify that this is the cause. How do you verify yours?

 

Thank you so much for your help. What is ROP by the way?

Sincerely,

Lorbi

 

 

Hello Lorbi, 

1. Granting that you HD is good, do you conduct heat penetration test to know your heat treatment  process schedule could give you the desired  P-value/F-value to give your product its target shelf-life provided it is stored and distributed in normal condition?

 

2. if you monitor your storage 4 times a day, which IMO, the interval is long, ours is hourly, do you install a continuous temperature chart recorder? If you dont, chances are recording might not be done in real time. Though temperature rises, operator still record the required temp to avoid questioning. It is the reality. Specially in night time when bosses are not around operators have their monitoring log book  filled up at the end the shift. Please check.

 

3. Try to include visit on your distributor facility as part of your complaint handling. This situation might be similar in number 2.

 

4. Possible is micro leak. Do you conduct heat sealing strength of you packaging before production, WIP and right after the shift? It might your sealing is not complete or during pasteurization it loosen. Heat seal strength normally reduced by 20% after heat treatment process. Checking micro leak of our packaging with product, is putting the product in a basin of potable water. Bubbles come out if there is leak in your packaging on the sealing or on the body itself. 

 

During transport what was the highest temperature and the longest your product is exposed? How shortly (time of exposure) is short? 

IMO, the reason that only 2 out of 150 is involved, it might that two have micro leak/pinholes, received less heat treatment, and were abused. The fermentation that cause bloating takes 15-17 days

 

in their warehouse to take. It all depends on the bacterial that survive after pasteurization or the introduction of bacteria through packaging leak and the storage condition that your customer has.

 

regards,

redfox


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#10 Lorbi

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 02:17 AM

Hi Lorbi,
 
Thks for replies.
 
Unfortunately, except perhaps for processors of similar products, difficult to comment much on the process without specific details, eg product mix / validation of pasturization / cooling T/t information, shelf-life/storage conditions.
 
A few more queries -
 
What is the recommended shelf-life / storage temperature ?.
 
i deduce that the frequency of defects reported by customer on problem lots is significantly greater than your own (1-2 %) data. A lot greater ?
 
Have you done any extended storage testing (ie > 15 days) for the lot codes (or parallel, similar formulation ones)  which received complaints ?. Results (if any) ?

 
Hi Charles,
 
The recommended shelf life of the affected product is 60 days and the storage temperature is 0-4C.
Shelf life study has already been conducted on these products before they are allowed by our client to be produced. However, we do not conduct any product retention.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lorbi


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#11 Lorbi

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 02:33 AM

 

Hello Lorbi, 

1. Granting that you HD is good, do you conduct heat penetration test to know your heat treatment  process schedule could give you the desired  P-value/F-value to give your product its target shelf-life provided it is stored and distributed in normal condition?

 

2. if you monitor your storage 4 times a day, which IMO, the interval is long, ours is hourly, do you install a continuous temperature chart recorder? If you dont, chances are recording might not be done in real time. Though temperature rises, operator still record the required temp to avoid questioning. It is the reality. Specially in night time when bosses are not around operators have their monitoring log book  filled up at the end the shift. Please check.

 

3. Try to include visit on your distributor facility as part of your complaint handling. This situation might be similar in number 2.

 

4. Possible is micro leak. Do you conduct heat sealing strength of you packaging before production, WIP and right after the shift? It might your sealing is not complete or during pasteurization it loosen. Heat seal strength normally reduced by 20% after heat treatment process. Checking micro leak of our packaging with product, is putting the product in a basin of potable water. Bubbles come out if there is leak in your packaging on the sealing or on the body itself. 

 

During transport what was the highest temperature and the longest your product is exposed? How shortly (time of exposure) is short? 

IMO, the reason that only 2 out of 150 is involved, it might that two have micro leak/pinholes, received less heat treatment, and were abused. The fermentation that cause bloating takes 15-17 days

 

in their warehouse to take. It all depends on the bacterial that survive after pasteurization or the introduction of bacteria through packaging leak and the storage condition that your customer has.

 

regards,

redfox

 

 

Hi redfox,

 

1. We do not conduct any heat penetration test. How frequent do you conduct it?
 

2. Thank you for that input. I thought so too that the QC might just record the required temp. What do you use to continuously monitor the temperature? How much was it?

 

3. I'll recommend visiting our distributor. But how do we check if they have proper storage condition? During on the spot checking, they might just give me records that show the required temp, similar to number 2.

 

4. We only check the strength of our sealing during WIP and before coding (which is after pasteurization). But, what they do is just press the packaging and check if something comes out of it. They will then consider it as a loose pack. Will that be enough? or would you recommend putting it in water? We do put it in water during cooling (after pasteur) though.

 

5. During transport, we make sure that it is within the standard temp. the longest holding time that it is exposed outside the standard is 30 minutes. This is during dispatching at our warehouse and dispatching at our client's warehouse.

 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Lorbi


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#12 Charles.C

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 04:03 AM

Hi Lorbi,

As a follow-up to No1 in previous post, how did you initially validate yr pasteurization process ?


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#13 redfox

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 12:40 PM

Hello Lorbi,

 

1. We conduct heat pen every batch. Before we do it weekly for verification. But when we encountered problem with high micro plate count we do it every batch for our reference when problem arise and give us confidence that our process schedule gives the target F-value.

 

2. We use dickson temp chart recorder. Price : $599.00 or 699.00? You can look it from google. They have local distributor in PH.

 

3. Check if they have chart recorder installed on their storage. During visit you can actually check their storage temp. You can bring thermometer inside for verification.

 

4. You have to check the heat sealing strength using force gauge to verify our sealing machine function properly. Do it before production, and an interval not less than for hours and right after the process. During heat treatment and cooling process, if your packaging has leak(s), your product gain weight depending on the size puncture or pinholes.

 

5. Suggest you use refer truck to maintain your 0-4 temperature throughout the distribution.

 

Another thing is, you have to conduct suppliers audit, there you can see how they handle their product and have a retaining sample for reference/witness.

 

 

 

Hope this could you enlightenment.

 

regards,

redfox


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#14 Tony-C

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 04:17 AM

Hi Lorbi,

 

Your problems sounds like yeast contamination (yeasts will still grow and produce gas at refrigeration temperatures).

 

The contamination can come from a number of areas such as filling equipment or packaging or environment. It is important to know when during the run a faulty pack was produced. For instance if it is the start it could be dirty cleaning equipment, if it is sporadic it could be contaminated packaging. Do you carry out packaging rinses ? and do you hot fill the product to sterilize the packaging?

 

Some other points:

 

Under pasteurization would typically cause large number of failures.

 

A faulty pack where contamination has been caused by a leak will not blow as the gas will escape via the leak.

 

How are your packs sealed? is it with a plug and how do you ensure they are sterile?

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony


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#15 Charles.C

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 07:53 AM

Hi Lorbi,

 

Your problems sounds like yeast contamination (yeasts will still grow and produce gas at refrigeration temperatures).

 

The contamination can come from a number of areas such as filling equipment or packaging or environment. It is important to know when during the run a faulty pack was produced. For instance if it is the start it could be dirty cleaning equipment, if it is sporadic it could be contaminated packaging. Do you carry out packaging rinses ? and do you hot fill the product to sterilize the packaging?

 

Some other points:

 

Under pasteurization would typically cause large number of failures.

 

A faulty pack where contamination has been caused by a leak will not blow as the gas will escape via the leak.

 

How are your packs sealed? is it with a plug and how do you ensure they are sterile?

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony

 

Hi Tony,

 

I'm not very familiar with the kind of  process involved in this thread but i had assumed the pasteurization was carried out on a sealed plastic container (pouch), ie physically analogous to sterilisation retorting. Maybe a wrong assumption. I had also assumed damaged pouches would be visibly failed but perhaps not.

 

Regardless, if a closed, undamaged pouch was used, i would have thought any yeast would  be destroyed in the thermal treatment, ie any subsequent bloating (from yeast) would be due to either under-processing or (somehow) post-process contamination.  i take yr (non-bloating) point regarding micro.leaks although I have encountered complaints of faulty metal can seaming  being blamed  for explosive failures after retorting/packing/storing.

 

i had rather suspected under-pasteurization but obviously based on limited data.

 

i also read in the literature for some  fruit-based items that still-active enzymes can cause such problems ?


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#16 Tony-C

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 10:26 AM

Thank you Charles, you may be right, I assumed batch pasteurized then filled. Lorbi, please can you clarify your process.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tony


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#17 redfox

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 07:08 AM

Hello Lorbi,

 

Do you chlorinate your cooling water to prevent re-contamination?

 

regards,

redfox


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#18 Lorbi

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 02:41 AM

Good day everyone,

 

Sorry for the late reply. I just got back to work from vacation.

Regarding our process, we pasteurized our products after packing and sealing each of them in a nylon PE bag. We do batch pasteurization in a large vat of boiling water (90-100C) for 15 minutes by submerging the bags in the vat. Afterwards, we do the cooling process in a container with flowing water. After the products are cooled, they are labeled with sticker tags and checked for any leaking and contaminants. Then, they are stored in our chiller.

 

Redfox, we do not chlorinate our water in the cooling process since we use flowing water. Do you think it's necessary to chlorinate? What ppm should be used?

 

 

 

Thanks,

 

Lorbi


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#19 redfox

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 06:51 AM

 Hello Lorbi,

 

We maintain 0.25 to 0.50 ppm of residual chlorine. It is check before the start of cooling/chilling operation.

 

Did you verify that after the chilling step you get the desired post-cooling temperature of you product?

 

regards,

redfox


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#20 Charles.C

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 02:49 PM

Hi Lorbi,

 

Please refer Post 12.

 

What is the approx. weight/bag ?


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C






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