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.
The use of alternative proteins in food is a major trend in the food industry as feeding the world and sustainability are major drivers for food ingredient and food producers. NIZO focuses on relevant aspects of technologies that enable this transition namely: protein technology, processing technologies, food grade fermentation technologies and the health aspects.
Validate microbial growth or inactivation in real products
Ingredients, (bio)preservatives, processing and storage conditions all have an impact on the microbial safety and stability of your new product concept. Furthermore, using novel ingredients or going ‘clean label’ (i.e. reduced preservatives, salt, sugar, etc.) can open the door to new microbial contaminants or less robust food products, which may perform in unexpected ways.
In the design of your formulation and processing, you want to be sure you optimise inactivation and minimise microbial growth rates, in case microbes survive or contaminate the product after processing. You also need to understand the limits beyond which your product moves from the ‘safe zone’ to the ‘danger zone’, whether in quality, spoilage or presence of contaminants that cause foodborne illness.
NIZO’s high-throughput screening assays allow us to test a very large number of components in parallel, in real food products, quickly and more cost effectively. We have developed a high-throughput platform that screens thousands of different formulations and conditions simultaneously, and over time.
For example, we can test ‘worst case’ scenarios with different pH levels, temperatures, times, and more, to see how your product performs. We can test different biopreservation systems. And we can validate the growth and inactivation of individual pathogenic and spoiler bacteria and spore formers, including Listeria, Salmonella, Bacillus cereus, and more.
Then, we can provide you with advice for product formulation solutions and process improvements, to enable you to make informed decisions for the further development of your new and robust product concept.