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Establishing Micro Limit Specs - Dry (<15%) Packaged Bake Mixes

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:39 PM

I sure hope this can be over-simplified, by I fear that won't be the case. We have customers who are now beginning to require we provide Micro Limits on their specification sheets. Mind you, we are a small, family owned operation, with limited resources, and no practical knowledge of biology. So, I ask all of you, are their basic, cookie cutter, micro limits standards for this type of food stuff? Are their easy to understand resources available to help me establish micro limits for the products we produce? I should mention we produce a very large assortment of bake mix products that may include dairy powders, nut meats and such, although a majority of the products we produce are relatively simple, comprised of mainly flour, sugar, and various flavorings. I would very grateful for any information you are willing to share with me.


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Posted 04 April 2012 - 02:23 AM

Dear Dan,

So, I ask all of you, are there basic, cookie cutter, micro limits standards for this type of food stuff? Are their easy to understand resources available to help me establish micro limits for the products we produce?

I’m not in the USA or baking industry but can make a few starting comments –

1.For yr products there are probably just a few basic micro specifications which will cover the majority of yr items. Examples of some typical, general, baked product specifications do exist on this forum however they may not cover some of yr specific items. There are a variety of producers of baked goods on this forum, further input from them will probably be forthcoming.

2.The style of the specification may depend on yr intended usage. For example, there is a significant difference between providing a simple guide (ie non-guaranteed) to yr products micro.characteristics as against using such data in a contract where non-compliance may result in rejection.

3.Customers will (happily) provide suggested micro.specifications in many cases. These are often referenced to some set of official standards and will give you a starting point. They may not be realistic of course.

4.Detailed official, ie legislatory, micro.specifications for yr products may exist already, “somewhere”.

5.Accessible free resources surely exist but typically require some user technical background / expertise. If you really have no internal knowledge resources, finding some professional assistance is recommended and seemingly unavoidable, particularly if you have a short timeframe. This will probably not be free (except from sources like this forum).

6.In many countries there are professional organisations which represent groups of producers for particular industries like “baking”, both big and small. Must exist in the USA . Such organisations will be familiar with yr product items and have immediate suggestions to answer yr query. The initial cost is typically a membership fee. Such organisations usually have a website.

7.I have no doubt that parallel to option 1 will be a multitude of food consultants who will also happily answer yr questions for a price. If you really have no internal knowledge resources, this may be cost effective, quick and ongoing.

As you can see, the options particularly depend on how you, yourself, wish to progress. Some people do not like placing all their trust in a 3rd party in which case some self-involvement will be required on a technical level.

Rgds / Charles.C

Kind Regards,



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Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:44 PM

I work in the sugar industry, so the specifications for your product are probably the standard low risk micro specs that we also have to follow. You may want to use the limits below as a starting point and do some verification activities to ensure they will meet your programs and your customer's needs.

Microbiological Limits

Mesophilic Bacteria - 200 cfu/10g max

Yeast - 10 cfu/10g max

Mold - 10 cfu/10g max

Anyway, hope this helps!



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Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:26 PM

Dear Dan,

This are limits for baked cookies, bars, granola

Total aerobic Count <1000/g

Yeast and Mold <100/g

Coliforms Negative

Salmonella Negative

Staphylococcus aureus negative


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