The global food market is constantly changing, from milder and more sustainable processing technologies to clean label products and plant-based ingredients and dairy alternatives. These trends create new challenges for producing safe, high-quality and taste ingredients and finished food. NIZO’s multidisciplinary capabilities can help you protect your products and brands. We ensure we have the most up-to-date knowledge about microbiological hygiene, as well as residues and chemical contaminants that may be found in milk, dairy products and dairy alternatives.
Listeria monocytogenes in cheese; a model to determine the concentrations of undissociated lactic acid in cheese and to predict complete growth inhibition.
Quantitatively assessing the risk of pathogens and spoilers in your food and nutrition product, from ingredient to finished product
Any time you change an existing product process or formulation (reducing salt or sugar for example), introduce a novel ingredient or product (such as a plant-based dairy alterative), or extend a product’s shelf life, you open the door to potential bacterial contamination in your chain. Yet, all too often, controlling pathogenic and spoilage microbes in a new or reformulated product comes at the end of the development process. Adopting a more holistic approach from the start can solve potential problems as an integral part of the product development itself – before you even have a product to test. This offers microbial safety and quality ‘by design’.
By modelling the growth and inactivation of microbes, NIZO helps you answer two key questions about your new or adapted product. Firstly, could it potentially contain any microorganisms of concern? Secondly, would it support the growth of the microorganisms? Discovery starts in silico, by mapping the bacterial risks associated with different ingredients, processing conditions and the product characteristics you want to build in. Once you have developed a product formulation, we can use quantitative microbiological risk assessments to provide a more precise identification of the risks: for example, what is the survival rate of a pathogen after heating, and what does that mean for potential outgrowth during production or in your finished product during its shelf life?