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Is pH a Critical Control Limit in processing of Fresh Produce?

HACCP CCP pH Fresh Produce

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#1 sruthi4192

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 03:04 PM

Hello,

 

I am trying to figure out if pH is or should be a critical control point in processing of fresh cut greens. Chlorine is used as a disinfectant and an acid is added to maintain the pH. There have been regulations and study about the minimum amount of chlorine that should be present in the wash tank to disinfect the produce and the favorable pH range that should be maintained to ensure that the chlorine is in the active form but does that make pH a critical control point ? Will it more likely be a processing aid ?

 

 

I did post this topic previously but could not continue the discussion. 

 

I appreciate every response. Thank You

 

Sincerely

 

Sruthi S


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#2 Charles.C

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 03:29 PM

Hello,

 

I am trying to figure out if pH is or should be a critical control point in processing of fresh cut greens. Chlorine is used as a disinfectant and an acid is added to maintain the pH. There have been regulations and study about the minimum amount of chlorine that should be present in the wash tank to disinfect the produce and the favorable pH range that should be maintained to ensure that the chlorine is in the active form but does that make pH a critical control point ? Will it more likely be a processing aid ?

 

 

I did post this topic previously but could not continue the discussion. 

 

I appreciate every response. Thank You

 

Sincerely

 

Sruthi S

 

Hi Sruthi,

 

I think you mean "Critical LImit".

 

I think most haccp plans tend to specify the ppm of Chlorine as the critical limit.

 

But some also include the pH, for example -

 

Attached File  HACCP Generic Model for Ready-To-Eat Fresh-Cut Vegetables - Food - Canadian Food Inspection Agency.pdf   427.04KB   31 downloads


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#3 Hauk

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 10:37 PM

Hi Sruthi. Typically, the CCP for wash water for fresh produce using chlorine as a disinfectant is the active free chlorine that you will measure rather using ppm or ORP (mV) usually >650 mV, reading that you will get combining citric acid and sodium hypochlorite. The pH range of your wash water of 7.0 to 7.5 will be the range where your ORP meter will usually read 650 to 850 mV. (The explanation goes beyond what I mentioned, it is just to keep the reply as simple as possible). Keeping in mind the above, in most cases the CCP will be the active free chlorine of the wash water measured via ORP or ppm. pH will vary depending on different factors, but as long as your ORP or ppm are within range you should be good. It depends of what you have written in your plan
I hope that helps.
I have worked in the fresh produced and fresh cut industry for several years and I'm also a BRC 3rd party auditor.



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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 01:15 AM

Hi Sruthi. Typically, the CCP for wash water for fresh produce using chlorine as a disinfectant is the active free chlorine that you will measure rather using ppm or ORP (mV) usually >650 mV, reading that you will get combining citric acid and sodium hypochlorite. The pH range of your wash water of 7.0 to 7.5 will be the range where your ORP meter will usually read 650 to 850 mV. (The explanation goes beyond what I mentioned, it is just to keep the reply as simple as possible). Keeping in mind the above, in most cases the CCP will be the active free chlorine of the wash water measured via ORP or ppm. pH will vary depending on different factors, but as long as your ORP or ppm are within range you should be good. It depends of what you have written in your plan
I hope that helps.
I have worked in the fresh produced and fresh cut industry for several years and I'm also a BRC 3rd party auditor.

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Hi Hauk,

 

Sorry but IMO the above "red" is incorrect.

 

Pls read the Canadian CFIA haccp plan in Post 2 which I believe is pretty much typical.

 

If you disagree, please post  or link a representative haccp plan to support yr statement.


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Charles.C


#5 Hauk

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 01:31 AM

Hi Hauk,

 

Sorry but IMO the above "red" is incorrect.

 

Pls read the Canadian CFIA haccp plan in Post 2 which I believe is pretty much typical.

 

If you disagree, please post  or link a representative haccp plan to support yr statement.

 

My apologies, I agree with you. What I mean to say in the red statement is that "if you choose as a CCP the wash of the produce in chlorinated water, etc". That would make more sense


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#6 Charles.C

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 01:52 AM

My apologies, I agree with you. What I mean to say in the red statement is that "if you choose as a CCP the wash of the produce in chlorinated water, etc". That would make more sense

 

No problem. And thanks for the input.

 

Actually I've never tried it myself but using an ORP criterium does at least have the advantage of  not having to explain what is meant by "free chlorine".


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Charles.C


#7 sruthi4192

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 12:56 PM

I appreciate your response Charles and Hauk. I went over your guidance document and it does make sense. As a particular pH level needs to be maintained in order to maintain a minimum amount of chlorine in the wash tank, so it justifies to have pH as a critical limit.  We had most of our auditors asking only for records for chlorine concentration (ppm) in the wash tank, which got us in to thinking if pH should even be included in the plan. 


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#8 Jaskaran17

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Posted 29 June 2017 - 01:52 PM

Hello
Am also using chlorine for disinfectant in vegetables range min 75 and max. 100ppm by using chlorine strip for checking. Only 10 to 15 minutes.

But using acid , firstly check the recipes acid and use it ....more the acid it will remove the colour from veg.

 

Ph for washing with chlorine is not a ccp in any conditions

Regards
Jaskaran Singh Saini
QA/QC Executive


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#9 Boykie

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 01:06 AM

I believe the washing CCP would be the chemical concentration (ppm) against time.

pH would typically be a CCP when it acts as a micro inhibitor which would normally be in acidic conditions ie below 4.4.

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#10 Charles.C

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 01:22 AM

I believe the washing CCP would be the chemical concentration (ppm) against time.

pH would typically be a CCP when it acts as a micro inhibitor which would normally be in acidic conditions ie below 4.4.

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Hi Boykie/Jaskaran Singh Saini,

 

I suggest to read the Codex/NACMCF texts on haccp.

 

CCP is not the same "thing" as Critical Limits.

 

@ Jaskaran Singh Saini - Perhaps you would like to validate yr opinion in Post 8 ?


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Charles.C


#11 Jaskaran17

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 12:44 PM

@charles C .....yes process was validate for disinfectant outer surface of vegetables. But it is not a ccp in my haccp process its just a cp

Regards
Jaskaran Singh Saini
QA/QC Executive


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#12 Caglar

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 03:32 PM

I am just speaking my mind here, I don't have experience in this particular field but if acidity or alkalinity is critical to the product than pH measurement result will be critical as well. 

 

For example if your product becomes inedible if washed with a solution which has pH lower than 6, then the pH measurement step will be CCP (assuming there is no further process step to eliminate the acidity) and the pH=6 will be critical limit.

However if pH measurement step is not a CCP then pH value will not be critical limit. 

 

I hope I am not misunderstanding the discussion here :)


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#13 Charles.C

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 03:59 PM

@charles C .....yes process was validate for disinfectant outer surface of vegetables. But it is not a ccp in my haccp process its just a cp

Regards
Jaskaran Singh Saini
QA/QC Executive

 

Hi Jaskaran,

 

It always needs to be related to the specific process but current thinking for such production tends to designate a CCP which is not  so much directed to the product itself but rather to prevent pathogenic cross-contamination of "cleaned" product via the wash water’s interaction with incoming material. Has been detailed in the literature. Also noted in my earlier attachment (inter alia).

 

@Caglar - Thanks for yr thoughts and nice to hear from Iceland. The relevance of pH is that the hypochlorite typically used for the treatment suffers a marked decrease in microbiocidal potency outside the mentioned pH range.


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Charles.C


#14 Jaskaran17

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 03:33 PM

Hi Jaskaran,

It always needs to be related to the specific process but current thinking for such production tends to designate a CCP which is not so much directed to the product itself but rather to prevent pathogenic cross-contamination of "cleaned" product via the wash water’s interaction with incoming material. Has been detailed in the literature. Also noted in my earlier attachment (inter alia).

@Caglar - Thanks for yr thoughts and nice to hear from Iceland. The relevance of pH is that the hypochlorite typically used for the treatment suffers a marked decrease in microbiocidal potency outside the mentioned pH range.

I agree with you
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