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Placeholder text and body copy here: Conducting proper validation studies with a Salmonella surrogate involves several steps.

The first step involves selecting an appropriate surrogate organism for the trials. In order to be considered compatible, a surrogate must demonstrate similar, slightly higher resistance than the pathogen of concern in the food to be tested, under defined processing conditions. Reviewing available literature is helpful when screening for appropriate surrogates.

Additional lab tests may be needed to verify compatibility. Novolyze has conducted intensive R&D to evaluate the use of surrogate organisms in cocoa. By way of example, the thermal profile of our surrogate for the validation of cocoa systems (SurroNov® 1834) has been verified in a wide range of cocoa matrices.

Establishing strong evidence of the correlation between the pathogen of concern and the surrogate is essential to assure the scientific robustness of the study.

The second step is to select a “worst-case” configuration on which to focus for the trials; taking into account both the cocoa matrices involved in the study and the processing parameters. Several intrinsic properties of the food being tested may affect pathogen inactivation: in the case of cocoa, water activity, moisture and fat content are key factors to evaluate.

Cocoa nibs with a higher fat/- lower moisture content will be more conservative in terms of pathogen destruction. Similarly, the validation should also focus on evaluating the worst-case processing parameters, which usually corresponds to the lowest exposure to the inactivation stress: ie, shortest processing time, lowest temperature, minimum level of potash solution injected or minimum steam addition.

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Placeholder text and body copy here: Conducting proper validation studies with a Salmonella surrogate involves several steps.


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