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Homemade Hummus to sell in supermarkets

Hummus shelf life

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 03:28 PM


I have seen some topics on HACCP for Hummus but we are working in a small sized plant (kitchen) preparing hummus to sell in a local farmers market for already about 5 years.
We have done a lot of improvements in the kitchen and in GMP in order to improve the shelf life of the product.
We tried to keep it very natural but now we are going to sell in some local supermarkets and we need to improve.
We started with regulating pH with citric acid and adding Natamicin. Along with the GMP practices this has improved the product shelf life but some dips are more sensitive because of some other ingredients we want to add. We were told we have to pasteurize the product after blending the ingredients, and this step has been giving us a lot of problems because of the change of flavour and also the difficulties of the process (we have tried to do a water bath).
Do you consider it necessary to pasteurize the product if the pH is below 4,2 and we also use Natamicin ?
We will really appreciate your comments.

Kelly S

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 09:55 PM

I'm not familiar with manufacturing hummus but if the only reason pasteurisation has been requested is for microbe control, validation testing of your end product without it should be enough to prove the product is compliant.


My experience where pasteurisation is a requirement is due to potential to spread disease (e.g mad-cows disease in dairy), unless there's an ultra-resistant bug in one of your ingredients?

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 01:46 PM

Do you use pre-cooked/hydrated chickpeas? If not, and you hydrate yourself, you may consider temperature and cook time controls to ensure you are meeting lethality. Another option, rather than pasteurization may be high-pressure processing, but that is something that you would be sending your product off for to be done.


Regardless, I agree with Kelly S above, that validation of end product testing should be enough, and it will help you "fine-tune" your shelf-life.


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Posted 02 March 2017 - 03:27 PM

I have worked with hummus on a large scale and have used pH and temperature to control the shelf life.


We used canned chick peas, but you have to be careful because when you blend them they warm up because of the kinetic energy. Our hummus would likely to end up being around 20-25C once we had finished. It can take a long time to get that cooled down so you have to work out a good system. One thing we did was keep the canned chick peas in a refrigerated environment, this would at least keep your starting temperature a little cooler.


I would test your temperature once you have finished mixing and see where you end up.


Good luck

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