Scott Valette, regional director, Europe MEA, Bühler, said as part of the study, peanuts were injected with E. faecium and roasted in a laboratory scale roaster simulator where temperature, airflow, airflow direction and bed depth were controlled.
Worst case scenario
It found, regardless of roast conditions, peanuts in the middle of the roasting bed received the least amount of heat and represent the worst case scenario for microbial reduction.
Speaking at Anuga FoodTec, Valette said the study, published in APRES journal, Peanut Science, issue PS13-21provides information for manufacturers of roasted peanuts when validating Salmonella reductions under a particular set of roasting parameters.
“Salmonella is a major risk for low-moisture foods because it can survive for long periods of time and has a high heat resistance,” he said.
According to Valette,whilethere is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to reducing hazards such as Salmonella, it had developed a number of equipment for food processors including its AeroRoast, or steam pasteurization equipment; Controlled Condensation Process (CCP) or NR-CEP two-step system.
Also addressing the concerns of pathogens, mycotoxins, and foreign materials, affecting the nut industry, at Anuga FoodTec wasEdyta Margas, food safety and hygienic design specialist, Bühler.
5-log reduction in peanuts and pistachios
Margas said the scientific community and food manufacturers were lacking knowledge in how to control these hazards, despite stringent legislation coming in from the US, such as the USDA (Agricultural Marketing Service Regulation, AMS 2007), which introduces legal requirement of minimum 4-log reduction of salmonella in almonds.
The US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) also recommends 5-log reduction in peanuts and pistachios (2009).
She said Bühler had started a food safety initiative focusing on three areas; training, new technology, and developing knowledge with external partners, including Campden BRI, in the UK.
“Nuts have to be safe for consumption because it’s a high value benefitting product,” she said.
“The food industry is changing rapidly due to consumers eating habits and people rely on food manufacturers for their safety and responsibility.”