Surrogate Selection

A surrogate must demonstrate similar or greater resistance when compared to the target pathogen to be considered effective. The compatibility of a surrogate bacteria usually depends on three critical parameters: the process to validate, the pathogen(s) of health concern as well as the food matrix itself. A food matrix can have significant effects on pathogen resistance during processing (moisture, aw, etc.). The rationale for selecting an appropriate surrogate organism is a key part of an in-plant process validation study. This step typically involves reviewing available scientific literature and may include additional preliminary work at pilot- or lab-scale. In order to streamline surrogate selection, Novolyze has carried out intensive research to confirm the compatibility of SurroNov® surrogates for a wide range of applications.

Critical Parameters Affecting Bacterial Inactivation and Surrogate Compatibility

An appropriate surrogate organism should:

  • Be non-pathogenic
  • Have a greater/similar resistance compared with the target pathogens of interest
  • Be easy to prepare and enumerate
  • Not establish itself as a spoilage organism
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