Food First Blog | Everything You Need to Scientifically Validate

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Everything You Need to Scientifically Validate Baking Process Preventive Controls
Everything You Need to Scientifically Validate Baking Process Preventive Controls

It’s no secret that fundamental research is often associated with a substantial fee, but sometimes those fees can be waived, especially if the donor is as committed to the success of the baking industry as AIB International is. AIB has paid all the necessary subscription fees to make the research for two peer-reviewed scientific articles on baking process kill step research free to the public.

It’s a significant investment that’s not overlooked. The first manuscript on hamburger bun kill step validation research was published in the Journal of Food Protection in April 2016. Dr. Kantha Channaiah, AIB’s Director of Microbiology, was the first author of this peer-reviewed scientific article aiming bakers around the world to evaluate whether the hamburger bun baking process destroys Salmonella spp. In June 2017, Validation of the Baking Process as a Kill Step for Controlling Salmonella in plain muffins was published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology.

Additionally, AIB International has also developed bakery product specific kill step calculators based on the D and z values of Salmonella. Here, product internal temperature and baking time were used to determine the total process lethality for Salmonella in log values.

Bakers need to enter a minimum of 20 time X temp data points and the calculator automatically calculates the total log reductions for Salmonella and generates three useful graphs:

  1. Product internal temperature
  2. F value
  3. Cumulative log reduction

Scientific validation is the only way to confirm that a thermal process is consistently delivering a desired lethal effect to ensure the destruction of pathogenic microorganisms. A successful validation study requires diverse expertise, detailed design, an experienced microbiologist, a statistician, a containment facility for pathogens, and a keen eye for sources of process variability. New regulatory requirements call for each FDA-registered food manufacturing facility to scientifically demonstrate and document evidence of the kill step in baked goods production. This documented evidence is required to be accessible for FDA inspections.

The kill step validation report generated can then be used as supporting documentation for FSMA's validation requirement. The kill step calculators can be downloaded from AIBI’s website for free.

The collaborative project led by Dr. Channaiah included the American Bakers Association and its Food Technical and Regulatory Affairs Committee, and researchers at Kansas State University and the University of Georgia.

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