Checking processes work
9 June 2016
Validation of processes is an essential part of the manufacturing of food and drink. It confirms that a process meets the requirements for a specific intended use - that is, that it is fit for purpose.
Validating the effectiveness of processes which reduce the target microbiological population is crucial to producing a safe product and is important throughout the whole food and drink chain - from growers and chemical producers to equipment suppliers and food manufacturers.
Due to the vast range of food products produced worldwide and the diversity of processes and equipment used, it is fair to say that no two validations are exactly the same. This can be very challenging, and requires a team with specialist knowledge across a range of disciplines. We have been researching this area for nearly 100 years and have a thorough understanding of the interaction of product, packaging and process type and how they combine to enable microbial numbers to be adequately controlled.
We can assess a wide range of both thermal and non-thermal processes, including HPP (high pressure processing), UV-C and cold plasma. Using our Microbiology Process Hall, we can simulate real-life scenarios using pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms to validate a whole range of methods, processes and equipment. From fresh produce decontamination via washing, ozone treatments, fogging and cold plasma to the testing of disinfectants, biocide alternatives and cleaning methods. We are also often called upon to conduct what might traditionally be regarded as process validation - the adequacy of thermal processing, other cooking regimes and reheating instructions.
Over the next few weeks we will be focusing on some of the aspects of validation and explaining the considerations you need to make when developing new processes or modifying existing ones.
If you would like to discuss your validation needs, please get in touch. Our cross-disciplinary team can develop tailored solutions to your specific needs.