Under the US Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA), bakers are not only required to substantiate they have followed all the necessary food safety prevention procedures, but need to provide proof.
A kill-step – or the addition of heat – can eliminate harmful pathogens such as Salmonella.
However, according to Lakshmikantha Channaiah, director of Microbiology at AIB International, there was a lack of scientific proof that all pathogens had been eliminated until the development of the Bakery Process Kill Step Calculator in 2015.
The US technology company collaborated with the American Bakers Association as well as with researchers at Kansas State University and the University of Georgia to develop a Kill Step Calculator that allows bakers to monitor the effectiveness of the kill step inside the oven.
The latest Kill Step Calculator, for flour tortillas, is the eighth in the company’s portfolio. Other calculators have been developed for yeast-raised doughnuts, nut muffins, cake muffins, whole wheat multigrain bread, crisp cookies, soft cookies, and hamburger buns.
Time and temperature
The interactive calculators work by using oven time and temperature parameters to determine the desired log kill (eg., five log reduction) for Salmonella. Once achieved, a generated report is produced that can be used as supporting documentation for FSMA’s validation and verification process.
The calculators are available for free download on AIB’s site, and, according to the company, more than 2,400 industry professionals have downloaded various versions of the calculators to date.