Friday, February 10, 2012

Acidified Foods Workshop - March 26-27

If you are interested in adding value to the products you grow and selling them you need to check to be sure if you need to take the Better Process Control School (BPCS) in order to be in compliance with food regulations.

Some products such as salad dressings, sauces, marinades and similar foods depend on the presence of acids to prevent spoilage. This acid may be naturally occurring from foods such as fruit juices or tomatoes, or the food may be formulated by combining acid foods with other foods to achieve the desired acidity. Some foods such as vinegar and certain pickled vegetables may have developed acidity from microbial fermentation.

Some microorganisms which cause foodborne illness may grow in foods without adequate acidity; government regulations address the manufacture of these products. Title 21 of the code of Federal Regulations, Parts 114 and 108 (21CFR114 & 21CFR108) regulate acidified foods.

Categories of Foods Preserved by Acids

Naturally acidic and fermented foods, along with jams, jellies, preserves and certain dressings and sauces, are exempted from the provisions of 21 CFR114. Generally, if a food is formulated from predominately acid foods it meets the exemption. If, however the food contains a mixture of acid and low acid foods, it falls under the regulation.

Foods preserved with acids are required to have a pH of 4.6 or below. At these levels, the production of toxins by the deadly organism causing botulism is inhibited. We refer to foods that have readings of greater than pH 4.6 as low-acid foods. Most vegetables and meats fall into this category. Most fruits and tomatoes have pH values lower than 4.6 and are considered acid foods.

Now that you have a better idea of what types of value added production requires attendance at a Better Process Control School, you can decide if you need to take the course.

On March 26-27, 2012 a Better Process Control School (BPCS) will be held in Columbia MO on the campus of the University of Missouri. This class is specifically designed for processors of acidified food products and meets the requirements of 21 CFR Part 114 for FDA regulated food manufacturers. Please contact Dr. Andrew Clarke at the University of Missouri Food Science Program (573-882-2610) if you have any questions about the Acidified Food Workshop.

Processors of low acid canned foods should attend a Better Process Control School event designed for thermal processing (retorting) of low acid products such as one offered at Oklahoma State University on May 21-24, 2012 or at the University of Arkansas on November 5, 8, 2012.

The registration fee is $400 for the first person from a company and $300 for each additional person. All participants will be provided with workshop materials as well as lunches and refreshments during breaks. Registration is limited to 100 participants. Registration deadline is Mar. 12, 2012.

To register, please send an e-mail with your contact information (participant name, company name, address, telephone and e-mail).

We will confirm your registration and provide directions to the meeting location by e-mail reply. If you have any questions or do not have e-mail access for registration, please contact JoAnn Lewis, 573-882-4113.

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