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Bühler Aeroglide cracks the code on peanut safety

By Jenni Spinner+

07-Jul-2014

Researchers with Bühler Aeroglide and the USDA have come up with methods to decrease the risk of Salmonella contamination in dry roasted peanuts.
Researchers with Bühler Aeroglide and the USDA have come up with methods to decrease the risk of Salmonella contamination in dry roasted peanuts.

Food scientists at Bühler Aeroglide report they have come up with a method to dry-roast peanuts that significantly reduces the risk of Salmonella contamination.

Salmonella is a common worry in peanut production. A number of Salmonella outbreaks linked to peanuts, peanut butter, and other nutty products have been reported, so the industry is on high alert regarding peanut safety.

Bühler Aeroglide, in partnership with the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service, reportedly has honed research to come up with a nut roasting method to significantly reduce the risk of Salmonella exposure.

Peanut research

Published in Peanut Science, the Bühler Aeroglide study predicts log reductions in peanut dry roasting using industrial dry roasting parameters. Dan Poirier, process engineer with Bühler Aeroglide, conducted the study using a laboratory scale roaster at the company's Technical Center in North Carolina.

"We've been advancing down this path for several years," Poirier said. "Our customers have asked for help in achieving the highest log reduction of salmonella; our goal with this research was to give the industry guidance on specific parameters that can be followed to achieve a critical control point for salmonella reduction."

Safety advances

Bühler Aeroglide food safety manager Steve Blackowiak said the industry is advancing food safety detection, tracking, and prevention, but more must be done.

We hear about salmonella outbreaks on a regular basis now and the industry is getting better at tracking contamination when it happens, but we all have a moral responsibility to global food production as we work together to proactively support safe food processing,” he said.

Blackowiak said researchers came up with a few, seemingly simple areas to tackle to increase safety in dry roasting peanuts.

We know that by improving air flow capacity, cool spots as well as hot spots can be eliminated,” he said. “During the roasting process, when air flow is evened out across the entire product bed according to specific controlled parameters, the result is better uniformity in roast color and moisture, combined with a safer food product."

The roaster simulated the parameters of Bühler Aeroglide's AeroRoast industrial peanut roaster.

Also contributing to the project were research leader Tim Sanders and food technologist Jack Davis, of the USDA Agricultural Research Service at North Carolina State University in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences in Raleigh, NC.

According to the research team, this study marks the first scientific documentation for reducing salmonella in real-world conditions for dry roasting peanuts.

Source: Peanut Science

DOI: 10.3146/PS13-21.1

“Salmonella surrogate reduction using industrial peanut dry roasting parameters” http://www.peanutscience.com/doi/abs/10.3146/PS13-21.1

Authors: Dan Poirier, Timothy H. Sanders, and Jack P. Davis

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