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Powdered products : is your process really safe ?

Powdered products : is your process really safe ?

The agro-food industry is using more and more powdered ingredients, which can be easily incorporated into different recipes. We know from experience that these products generally have a high
microbiological load; they are in fact particularly exposed to the risks of contamination during their transformation process, which is most often done mechanically and at low temperatures.

We also note that powdered mixtures (spices, herbs …) may be bacteriologically non-compliant even though each batch of raw material had been tested compliant before transformation. The development of the microbiological load can be explained by mechanical contamination during the mixing process but could also be linked to the fact that a bacterium which was formerly present on a substrate that is bad for it is now put in contact with a new substrate much more conducive to its growth. An unpredictable phenomenon which might have disastrous consequences.

Faced with this proven risk producers have been destitute for a long time, having very few solutions at their disposal, none of them being really satisfactory in terms of germ reduction efficiency and the conservation of the product’s organoleptic qualities. Several of them have turned to Steripure, allowing us to test our process on a variety of products as diverse as vanilla powder, nutmeg, pepper and ground ginseng, almond flour and walnut powder – achieving excellent results (see case studies).

These can be explained by the fact that in the vacuum chamber saturated steam has the capacity to penetrate to the heart of the powder and thus allows for homogeneous treatment of the entire product while with other methods only the exposed surface is treated. Our process also offers the advantage of not degrading fluidity and having a very low impact in terms of color change, a phenomenon to which powder products are particularly sensitive.

Our services thus offer a solid solution for producers who, at any given moment, identify a contamination risk in one of their ingredients. They also open new perspectives for the valorization of industrial production waste or byproducts (e.g. nut powders resulting from processing like dicing or grinding), making them suitable for human consumption.

Newsletter january 2018