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Microbiological criteria for dried plant based powders

Micro yeast mould testing plantbased vegan powders

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HelenW

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 07:57 AM

HI, I'm trying to set our microbiological critera for our finished products, however I'm not really sure where to begin. We have currently got targets in place as follows (I've inherited and don't know where they came from or whether they are correct!) APC - No limit established Yeast/Mould - <1000cfu/g E.Coli - <10cfu/g Salmonella - Neg/25Our products are all vegan, plant based protein and dietary supplements, that are dried powders and added to water/non-dairy milk when used. Can anyone help with whether these limits are acceptable and where I can find a reference doc to say so? We're gearing up for BRC audit and I'm really not comfortable in this area. We've also seen products failing (randomly - no trends either on site or in other production batches), with mould counts @ 2000/3000 cfu/g. Thanks!  



aeb11

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 10:43 AM

Hi Helen,

 

I work in the same industry.

 

We set our Finished Product limits as follows

 

Containing botanicals 100 000 TVC Bacteria, 10 000 Yeasts and moulds

Not containing botanicals 10 000 TVC Bacteria, 1000 Yeasts and moulds

Salmonella neg in 25g

E coli neg in 1g

 

It is difficult as there aren't limits specifically for food supplements but this is pretty standard

 

When it comes to raw materials our acceptance criteria is containing botanicals 10 000 TVC Bacteria and 1000 Yeasts and Moulds, non botanicals 1000 TVC Bacteria and 100 Yeasts and Moulds. Salmonella and E.Coli are the same as for a Finished Product

 

We use the European Pharmacopoeia to help us and again, also quite standard across the industry.

 

Some materials and finished products will fall outside of this and you will sometimes have to assess some individually.

 

Hope this helps

 

Amy 



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HelenW

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 02:48 PM

Hi Helen,

 

I work in the same industry.

 

We set our Finished Product limits as follows

 

Containing botanicals 100 000 TVC Bacteria, 10 000 Yeasts and moulds

Not containing botanicals 10 000 TVC Bacteria, 1000 Yeasts and moulds

Salmonella neg in 25g

E coli neg in 1g

 

It is difficult as there aren't limits specifically for food supplements but this is pretty standard

 

When it comes to raw materials our acceptance criteria is containing botanicals 10 000 TVC Bacteria and 1000 Yeasts and Moulds, non botanicals 1000 TVC Bacteria and 100 Yeasts and Moulds. Salmonella and E.Coli are the same as for a Finished Product

 

We use the European Pharmacopoeia to help us and again, also quite standard across the industry.

 

Some materials and finished products will fall outside of this and you will sometimes have to assess some individually.

 

Hope this helps

 

Amy 

 

Amy - thank you so much for your reply, this will definitely help, and also explains some of the oddities that we've been seeing. 



Charles.C

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Posted 29 May 2021 - 01:10 AM

HI, I'm trying to set our microbiological critera for our finished products, however I'm not really sure where to begin. We have currently got targets in place as follows (I've inherited and don't know where they came from or whether they are correct!) APC - No limit established Yeast/Mould - <1000cfu/g E.Coli - <10cfu/g Salmonella - Neg/25Our products are all vegan, plant based protein and dietary supplements, that are dried powders and added to water/non-dairy milk when used. Can anyone help with whether these limits are acceptable and where I can find a reference doc to say so? We're gearing up for BRC audit and I'm really not comfortable in this area. We've also seen products failing (randomly - no trends either on site or in other production batches), with mould counts @ 2000/3000 cfu/g. Thanks!  

 

Hi Helen,

 

Are these products classified as RTE ?

 

Not my product area of expertise but there does appear to be significant coverage of the micro. aspects on IT as illustrated in Post 2.

 

I enclose 2 refs (2015, 2020)  which both substantially focus on herbal ingredients. The first ref contains suggested limits which sort of parallel those in Post 2.

 

Attached File  microbiological quality of food supplements.pdf   103.4KB   14 downloads

Attached File  Micro.Quality of Dietary supplements using Plant-derived Ingredients.pdf   350.75KB   14 downloads

 

Compliance of data with limits in 1st ref looks "fair" (ie 1-5 % defect rates) however the literature reviewed data in 2nd ref shows considerable variations  and much higher defect values.

 

added - One more set (2012) of comparative recommended limits from various organisations (USP, WHO. AHPA etc) Not surprisingly there are considerable variations.

 

Attached File  AHPA micro limits botanical ingredients.pdf   171.44KB   17 downloads


Edited by Charles.C, 29 May 2021 - 01:29 AM.
edited

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


HelenW

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 07:21 AM

Hi Helen,

 

Are these products classified as RTE ?

 

Not my product area of expertise but there does appear to be significant coverage of the micro. aspects on IT as illustrated in Post 2.

 

I enclose 2 refs (2015, 2020)  which both substantially focus on herbal ingredients. The first ref contains suggested limits which sort of parallel those in Post 2.

 

attachicon.gif microbiological quality of food supplements.pdf

attachicon.gif Micro.Quality of Dietary supplements using Plant-derived Ingredients.pdf

 

Compliance of data with limits in 1st ref looks "fair" (ie 1-5 % defect rates) however the literature reviewed data in 2nd ref shows considerable variations  and much higher defect values.

 

added - One more set (2012) of comparative recommended limits from various organisations (USP, WHO. AHPA etc) Not surprisingly there are considerable variations.

 

attachicon.gif AHPA micro limits botanical ingredients.pdf

 

Hi Charles,

Thanks for the information - I will have a read through of these properly but on a brief scan, this would look like our products sit within the ranges specified. 

 

Yes, the products are classed as RTE - on site, there is no heat treatment or processing, all powders are bought ready to use, we blend and pack only. 



Charles.C

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 09:13 AM

Hi Charles,

Thanks for the information - I will have a read through of these properly but on a brief scan, this would look like our products sit within the ranges specified. 

 

Yes, the products are classed as RTE - on site, there is no heat treatment or processing, all powders are bought ready to use, we blend and pack only. 

 

Hi Helen,

 

The "official"  micro. expectations are unsurprisingly sensitive to the degree and type of processing applied.

 

Not obvious as to the variations in history of the data reported in 2nd pdf but the variety of .microbial characteristics/contaminants detected suggests probably considerable. Makes setting specifications problematic.

 

Maybe should initially focus on the safety related aspects.

 

As noted, your data looks quite promising assuming validated analytical procedures in use.

 

PS -  I would have thought that some screening for specific levels of  mould  to be of interest from a FS POV.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C






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