Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
Photo
- - - - -

Raw seeds microbiology


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 The Food Scientist

The Food Scientist

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,009 posts
  • 258 thanks
196
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Food Science, Nature, SQF, Learning, Trying out new foods, Sarcasm.

Posted 10 May 2019 - 02:13 PM

Hi everyone! 

 

I know I post many questions, but I love gaining insight from everyone :)

 

So we sell raw pumpkin seeds, we buy them from a supplier. This supplier does give us a COA indicating it's clean, free of pathogens (E.coli, Salmonella)/. However they sent us a letter indicating that they do not recommend selling raw product and cannot be held responisule for any raw product that is sold for consumption. , That despite their COA indicating its free of pathogens, without a further kill step such as cooking or roasting they cannot guarantee the absence of pathogens. And I agree with them. 

 

However management are confused about this. What are everyone's suggestions/recommendations about this? We just repack those raw seeds and thats it. Shall we indicate on the package a warning for customers? That they must cook and cannot consume raw product? Or we just discontinue selling it? Thanks!


Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


#2 zanorias

zanorias

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 797 posts
  • 239 thanks
154
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Motorcycling, Food Safety, Science, Paddleboarding, Space

Posted 10 May 2019 - 02:33 PM

Have you asked the supplier about it? I'm wondering if it could just be a commercial thing or standard statement to cover themselves just in case. I'm not so familiar with seeds but can pumpkin seeds be eaten raw? Interestingly the below report categorises pumpkin seeds in low-moisture seeds for consumption and found:

B. cereus was identified at an average prevalence of 7.0 (95% CI: 0.4 to 18.9) in other seeds for consumption (flax, karela, poppy, pumpkin, sunflower) in three studies, while Cronobacter spp. was identified at highly variable (9-67%) prevalence levels across three trials in two studies of poppy, pumpkin, and sesame seeds, respectively.

http://ucfoodsafety....iles/209893.pdf

 

p.s. the more questions, the more interesting discussions and opportunities to learn :smile:



#3 The Food Scientist

The Food Scientist

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,009 posts
  • 258 thanks
196
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Food Science, Nature, SQF, Learning, Trying out new foods, Sarcasm.

Posted 10 May 2019 - 02:45 PM

Have you asked the supplier about it? I'm wondering if it could just be a commercial thing or standard statement to cover themselves just in case. I'm not so familiar with seeds but can pumpkin seeds be eaten raw? Interestingly the below report categorises pumpkin seeds in low-moisture seeds for consumption and found:

B. cereus was identified at an average prevalence of 7.0 (95% CI: 0.4 to 18.9) in other seeds for consumption (flax, karela, poppy, pumpkin, sunflower) in three studies, while Cronobacter spp. was identified at highly variable (9-67%) prevalence levels across three trials in two studies of poppy, pumpkin, and sesame seeds, respectively.

http://ucfoodsafety....iles/209893.pdf

 

p.s. the more questions, the more interesting discussions and opportunities to learn :smile:

 

Yes the supplier sent us a letter that they won't be held responsible if anyone basically gets sick. And yes we had a few Salmonella outbreaks in the US from consumption of raw seeds. There are many studies indicating E.coli & Salmonella are a risk. I worked at a Seed & nut company before and we did cooking & roasting of all nuts and seeds with validations on the cooking and roasting processes to kill all pathogens. Now pumpkin seeds and almost all seeds can be eaten raw, but the thing is there is a small risk of getting sick, unless you properly store them at low temperatures to inhibit the growth of the pathogens, so i was thinking of including a statement on our labels for proper storage procedures.


Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


#4 Scampi

Scampi

    Fellow

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 3,271 posts
  • 894 thanks
483
Excellent

  • Canada
    Canada
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 10 May 2019 - 06:12 PM

Now you've got me thinking............i eat these damn things every morning because they are delicious and a great way to top up iron intake (i run really low) !

 

Part of the control in the pathogens will be the wash water that is used (anti microbial hopefully) and the aw............they are not roasted, but they are dried........

 

I'm going to check my package on the weekend and report back


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


#5 Hank Major

Hank Major

    Grade - SIFSQN

  • IFSQN Senior
  • 317 posts
  • 99 thanks
32
Excellent

  • United States
    United States

Posted 10 May 2019 - 07:15 PM

It is important to note that raw plant products often have a microbial ecology unique to them, which may suppress pathogenic bacteria and/or increase total plate counts. This makes total plate count a poor proxy for pathogens, maybe even inversely related. One should consider not even bothering with a TPC, and concentrate on testing for coliforms and actual pathogens.



#6 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 18,229 posts
  • 5111 thanks
1,110
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 11 May 2019 - 12:10 PM

Yes the supplier sent us a letter that they won't be held responsible if anyone basically gets sick. And yes we had a few Salmonella outbreaks in the US from consumption of raw seeds. There are many studies indicating E.coli & Salmonella are a risk. I worked at a Seed & nut company before and we did cooking & roasting of all nuts and seeds with validations on the cooking and roasting processes to kill all pathogens. Now pumpkin seeds and almost all seeds can be eaten raw, but the thing is there is a small risk of getting sick, unless you properly store them at low temperatures to inhibit the growth of the pathogens, so i was thinking of including a statement on our labels for proper storage procedures.

 

Is the "small risk" statistically (incident) quantified anywhere ? Growth control is not necessarily an adequate safety criterion.

 

Offhand, the above  made me wonder why people would eat them "raw"  rather than roasted ? Cheaper ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#7 zanorias

zanorias

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 797 posts
  • 239 thanks
154
Excellent

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK
  • Interests:Motorcycling, Food Safety, Science, Paddleboarding, Space

Posted 11 May 2019 - 06:11 PM

Offhand, the above  made me wonder why people would eat them "raw"  rather than roasted ? Cheaper ?

 

Charles, when googling previously the micro nature of raw pumpkin seeds I wondered the same thing and noted the reasons given below, had another quick google to add some links. My guess to why people eat them raw is they believe there to be health benefits due to such information from websites such as the linked below, regardless of whether there is any scientific evidence base behind it. During my degree studies in nutrition, one thing that always annoyed me when trying to work with the public is that -  no matter how qualified someone is or how significant an evidence base is - people will tend to get their info from any source without scepticism of the validity of that source  :doh:

 

While both raw and roasted pumpkin seeds offer health benefits, raw pumpkin seeds offer more nutritional value because some nutrients are destroyed during the roasting process.

https://healthyeatin...seeds-6627.html

 

In order to preserve the healthy fats present in the seeds, pumpkin seeds should be eaten raw.

https://articles.mer...d-benefits.aspx

 

In order to preserve the healthy fats present in the seeds, pumpkin seeds should be eaten raw.

https://www.quora.co...w-pumpkin-seeds

 

Apologies to detract from the original topic.

 

The Food Scientist, I think storage instructions would be a good measure, especially if conditions will affect the safety or quality of the food. Of curiosity what would "low temperatures" be defined as in this case?



#8 Charles.C

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 18,229 posts
  • 5111 thanks
1,110
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 11 May 2019 - 10:15 PM

Charles, when googling previously the micro nature of raw pumpkin seeds I wondered the same thing and noted the reasons given below, had another quick google to add some links. My guess to why people eat them raw is they believe there to be health benefits due to such information from websites such as the linked below, regardless of whether there is any scientific evidence base behind it. During my degree studies in nutrition, one thing that always annoyed me when trying to work with the public is that -  no matter how qualified someone is or how significant an evidence base is - people will tend to get their info from any source without scepticism of the validity of that source  :doh:

 

While both raw and roasted pumpkin seeds offer health benefits, raw pumpkin seeds offer more nutritional value because some nutrients are destroyed during the roasting process.

https://healthyeatin...seeds-6627.html

 

In order to preserve the healthy fats present in the seeds, pumpkin seeds should be eaten raw.

https://articles.mer...d-benefits.aspx

 

In order to preserve the healthy fats present in the seeds, pumpkin seeds should be eaten raw.

https://www.quora.co...w-pumpkin-seeds

 

Apologies to detract from the original topic.

 

The Food Scientist, I think storage instructions would be a good measure, especially if conditions will affect the safety or quality of the food. Of curiosity what would "low temperatures" be defined as in this case?

 

Thks. I noticed this (unreferenced) opening comment from Mr. Google him/herself -

 

Pumpkin Seed Benefits. Raw pumpkin seeds provide a rich source of fiber, a type of carbohydrate that prevents constipation and benefits digestive health. ... Because fiber, protein and minerals are not destroyed by roasting, these nutrients are found in roughly equal amounts in both raw and roasted pumpkin seeds

 


Sadly,  probably as for yourself, I could not immediately find any articles offering scientific validation supporting pro or con.regarding  the claims of raw superiority.

 

As you noted, believing can be everyhing.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users