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Improving shelf life in ready-to-eat produce business


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#1 dugaucher

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 06:28 PM

Hi all,
I am in the produce business (ready-to-eat). I am currently testing for shelf life and need advises/suggestions on chemicals to use. The former Quality used "nutraseal" (I beleive). His resutls showed it improved shelf life by 20 days but it was way too costly. As his replacement, i am asked to find less costly solution and train employees.

I would really appreciate if you suggest something.tks in advance.


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#2 Charles.C

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 12:05 AM

Hi all,
I am in the produce business (ready-to-eat). I am currently testing for shelf life and need advises/suggestions on chemicals to use. The former Quality used "nutraseal" (I beleive). His resutls showed it improved shelf life by 20 days but it was way too costly. As his replacement, i am asked to find less costly solution and train employees.

I would really appreciate if you suggest something.tks in advance.


Dear Dugaucher,

Insufficient info.

Product type = ? :smile:

Extension shelf-life based on what criterion(s) ?

Nutraseal defeated my Google (other than non-chemicals).

Rgds / Charles.C

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 dugaucher

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:40 PM

Dear Dugaucher,

Insufficient info.

Product type = ? :smile:

Extension shelf-life based on what criterion(s) ?

Nutraseal defeated my Google (other than non-chemicals).

Rgds / Charles.C



Hi Charles,
It is ready-to-eat apple, carrots and grape. It is also "NatureSeal" which is a mix of ascorbic acid (For its antioxydant properties, citric acid (For its preservatives properties) and some others in smaller amount. It extend the shelf life by 10-20 extra days, I believe. The issue right now is the high cost of this chemical. I am looking for a cheaper solution with relatively the same results.
Dugaucher

#4 GMO

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 06:20 AM

I think I might be getting what you're after. Are you washing the produce in a mixture containing this natureseal?

From personal experience, having performed washing in chlorine based washes and organic acid based washes, the organic acid had far better anti microbial effects. I was looking at food safety though and it appears your concerns are quality. (Where I say "organic acid", I mean this is a chemical context, i.e. an acid based upon a carbon based structure not a mineral acid like hydrochloric or sulphuric.) What was surprising to me was it seemed to be more effective than the pH would suggest so it wasn't just working by lowering the pH.

Ascorbic acid and citric acid are not particularly expensive chemicals I don't think and they're not exactly dangerous either. We were using acetic acid but this was for onion washing and so not likely to be an issue for taint so I wouldn't recommend washing your fruit in vinegar!

Why not get some ascorbic and citric acid in, make sure they are food grade of course, mix in similar quantities to the natureseal you were using and trial it? Also for convenience, why not ask different food chemical suppliers to pre make some mixes for you and price it up? Just because they don't have a product now, doesn't mean they won't make one for you.

Alternatively I know Ecolab do an organic acid based wash mix but I've no idea if they supply to Canada?



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#5 dugaucher

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:17 PM

I think I might be getting what you're after. Are you washing the produce in a mixture containing this natureseal?

From personal experience, having performed washing in chlorine based washes and organic acid based washes, the organic acid had far better anti microbial effects. I was looking at food safety though and it appears your concerns are quality. (Where I say "organic acid", I mean this is a chemical context, i.e. an acid based upon a carbon based structure not a mineral acid like hydrochloric or sulphuric.) What was surprising to me was it seemed to be more effective than the pH would suggest so it wasn't just working by lowering the pH.

Ascorbic acid and citric acid are not particularly expensive chemicals I don't think and they're not exactly dangerous either. We were using acetic acid but this was for onion washing and so not likely to be an issue for taint so I wouldn't recommend washing your fruit in vinegar!

Why not get some ascorbic and citric acid in, make sure they are food grade of course, mix in similar quantities to the natureseal you were using and trial it? Also for convenience, why not ask different food chemical suppliers to pre make some mixes for you and price it up? Just because they don't have a product now, doesn't mean they won't make one for you.

Alternatively I know Ecolab do an organic acid based wash mix but I've no idea if they supply to Canada?


Thanks GMO you did capture my point. It is a quality issue. We are trying to improve the shelf life. According to Alibaba.com, some manufacturers sell citric acid (Preservative) for 0.9$/kg while ascorbic acid (Antioxydant) is sold $4-$6/kg. I need both because they have different properties. I was looking at:
1- If there is a cheaper alternative
2- If there is a known mixture of both that would be cheaper while keeping properties (Shelf life) intact.

I will try contacting Ecolab.

Thanks again
Dugaucher

#6 GMO

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:01 AM

Ha! Maybe be careful! I've just googled it and it seems one of the products they supply caused a mass recall!

I also very much doubt Ecolab will be cheaper than the prices you've been quoted.



#7 GMO

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 08:03 AM

Oh and I think the Ecolab product was a peracetic acid based system so should be good against most things but the recall was based on carrot washing. http://www.thepacker..._122129859.html






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