Food safety regulations now going into effect under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) require bakers to validate and verify in scientifically rigorous fashion that a kill step for pathogens is part of their processing methods. For most, this will take place in the oven, but until now, there has been no science proving this.
AIB International (Booth No. 4621) undertook that challenge and has now released five “calculators” for the kill-step validation of bakery products. During an IBIE educational session Sunday morning, Kantha Channaiah, PhD, AIB’s director of microbiology, described how the institute worked with the American Bakers Association’s Food Technical Regulatory Affairs Committee, Kansas State University and University of Georgia to develop a spreadsheet-based model documenting how baking destroys harmful microbes. The method uses a data logger to probe internal product temperature during baking, an Excel spreadsheet and a specially written formula to calculate the log reduction in pathogens present.
Hamburger buns were the first to be tested. Dr. Channaiah said this calculator would be appropriate for other buns of similar size. The one for 100% whole wheat multigrain pan bread suits other pan breads. “But those tests would not be appropriate for cheesecake,” he said. “Pathogens behave differently in different products, thus we need separate models for the various kinds of baked goods.”
Next up will likely be a calculator for yeast-raised donuts made in a fryer, according to Brian Strouts, vice-president, baking and food technical services, AIB.
AIB’s method will save considerable money for commercial bakers. Other than the cost of a data-logger, which many bakeries now have, the five calculators are available for free, downloaded from the AIB website, www.aibonline.org.