Ingredients in food manufacturing often include powders, e.g. of milk, cocoa, soy or pea. The presence of bacterial spores may determine the microbiological safety and quality of finished products, as spores may not be inactivated by commonly applied processing conditions. Surviving spores may germinate, followed by outgrowth in products, subsequently leading to spoilage (or even food borne illness). However, methods to detect relevant spores in powders are not harmonized globally.
Together with various partners in the dairy industry, we recently launched an initiative to reach consensus on the use of a method to detect and quantify highly heat resistant bacterial spores in dairy powders, with a focus on those spores that cause product defects.
This “Spores Consortium” offers a practical standardized method that can be applied by producers of dairy powders and their customers worldwide.
We are currently planning to expand the Spores Consortium initiative to various non-dairy powders (e.g. cocoa, soy, pea) and are open to welcoming additional partners!
For more information, please contact Dr. Marjon Wells-Bennik.