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Scheduled process fresh pack pasteurized pickled veggies

fresh pack pickles

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#1 Scampi

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 09:23 PM

Ok, so I'm in a new commodity......fresh pack pasteurized pickled veggies. I have a question i'm hoping someone can answer.

 

The Canadian and US regs both require a scheduled process for "acidified low acid foods", ok fine, I get it, need to make sure that the pH is low enough to render the botulism bacteria useless I am not dismissing the importance at all ( i can at home and my other half laughed when I said we needed to add lemon juice to tomatoes--we did and they were delicious) 

 

My question is this.....our current scheduled process says the diameter of the raw veg can't be larger than X.......I wasn't here then or I would have questioned him then on including that in the process

 

If the pH is below 4 (and it always is) and the jars have all sealed appropriately, what difference does it make on the size?  Isn't pH the only control in this process?



#2 Scampi

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 09:24 PM

I should have added these are vinegar brined, then pasteurized and sealed



#3 Scampi

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 02:18 PM

Anyone have any insight?



#4 Peaches

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 04:26 PM

Not my direct area of expertise, however when I worked with low acid aseptically processed dairy products we also produced a chili product.  The range for the size of the chili particulates was listed on the process paperwork because that was the size that was tested for that process.  The process authority could only validate what was tested, so if you want larger pieces tested to increase your range on piece size, then another validation would need to be done.

At some point if you have all large pieces, the temperature at which the product is pasteurized could be affected, which would change your process (i.e. have to heat longer in order to get the same end result, or place in brine longer, etc) 



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#5 Scampi

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 04:29 PM

But couldn't I do the math myself?  We using almost boiling brine to begin with and the pasteurizer is constantly monitored............as well our equilibrium pH is below 4.    Sorry, i guess i'm just not understanding the risk..........the water bath is simply to seal the jar. the acidic nature of the brine keeps the actual product safe



#6 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 09:07 PM

Is the pH of the material itself below 4.6? Some acidified foods require piece size so that the vinegar can actually permeate the entire veggie in a reasonable timeframe. Just because your brine is low pH doesn't mean the food is.


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#7 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 09:08 PM

But couldn't I do the math myself?  We using almost boiling brine to begin with and the pasteurizer is constantly monitored............as well our equilibrium pH is below 4.    Sorry, i guess i'm just not understanding the risk..........the water bath is simply to seal the jar. the acidic nature of the brine keeps the actual product safe

You could submit a new process with a larger batch size, but until then you have to follow the one you filed.


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#8 Charles.C

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 04:53 AM

Hi scampi,

 

Not my product area at all but as I understand this is a thermal pasteurization to achieve 5log reduction.

 

The size/packing density etc will presumably define any cold spots/rates of heat transfer, etc so influence the pasteurisation efficiency.

 

In my area (seafood pasteurisation) it is necessary to validate the cook process/log reduction using largest size to be handled. Therefore generates a safety factor for smaller sizes (as long as not "quality" overcooked).

 

It's not directly relevant to yr size query but this related publication looks sort of relevant to my above comments -

 

Attached File  thermal processing acidified foods.pdf   283.96KB   10 downloads

 

PS - apologies in advance if my speculations are too ad hoc. :smile:


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#9 Scampi

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 01:21 PM

Thanks Charles, I have been looking for this nicely done report................everything I have found is a tomb that no one except the author can understand.

 

My general concern with the schedule we've been given is that it did not perform equilibrium pH validations at intervals post processing............I wish i had been here when the schedule was written, they should have been included; right now the schedule we have is just piece meal.................the owners were robbed.

I would have ensured it covered all areas so that there was some flexibility in the process. The 30 day equilibrium pH for our products is between 3.4 and 3.7 (using the puree method on the contents not including the brine)

 

I feel like all canneries are approached using the same criteria as canned meats.  There is a reason humans have been canning veggies in acidic brine for 1000s of years, it's one of the safest methods to store food



#10 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 02:36 PM

@Scampi, this (now revoked) guidance from FDA is still used at the state level and may also provide some additional clarity on FDA's thinking on the topic.

 

https://foodsafety.w...8_02(clean).pdf


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#11 Charles.C

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 02:50 PM

@Scampi, this (now revoked) guidance from FDA is still used at the state level and may also provide some additional clarity on FDA's thinking on the topic.

 

https://foodsafety.w...8_02(clean).pdf

 

Hi 3F,

 

Some of the contents are over my head but this is apparently why the draft Guidance was revoked -

 

Attached File  A-Guide-To-Acidified-Foods-Thermal-Processing-Microbiology-and-Regulatory-Compliance,2015.pdf   145.77KB   10 downloads


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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