Spices, herbs, seeds, and dehydrated vegetables bring flavors, aromas, and colors to the food. The potential presence of microbes in any food commodity can wreak havoc on its quality and safety, resulting in the trend towards more stringent regulations.
Spices are one category that are sourced from all parts of the world and can be heavily contaminated depending on the soil they are harvested. Due to simple processing, the microbes often remain in the food. If left untreated, the products may continue microbial growth leading to spoilage. There are multiple methods to reduce the presence of pathogens. Some old techniques include fumigants (ethylene oxide and propylene oxide), steam, and irradiation. Each method has merits and demerits regarding effectiveness, consumer acceptance, and impact on quality.
As an aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in consumer awareness about food hygiene and safety. Incidences where contaminated foodstuffs are discovered, are dealt with severely through massive product recalls and other actions.
What can be done?
Microbial safety in spices should be a top priority for manufacturers. A process known as the Continuous HT - ST (High Temperature - Short Time) “In-Flow” steam decontamination ensures the safety of spices without impacting their quality, Colour, texture, and flavor of the spices. It’s a continuous system that treats powder and whole spices, involving exposure of heat-sensitive herbs, powder, and spices to high-pressure steam at a temperature that varies between 102°C and 122°C for a short time (20-40 seconds).
This decontaminates the product without impacting its quality or organoleptic properties adversely. It can be applied safely to spices, herbs, seeds, nuts, grains, botanicals, dried vegetables, whole products, and ground products.
Jaivik Foods is the in-house partner for TEMA PROCESS BV, Netherlands, looking after the southeast and the middle east Asian market. Tema process offers different technologies for decontamination known as “Steam Sterilization” & “Steam Pasteurization”.
The main difference between the two is that “Sterilizers” work in closed pressure vessels up to 6 Bar& “Pasteurizers” work at the atmospheric pressure with super-heated steam. The selection of the appropriate technology solely depends on the characteristics of the products and the types of pathogens to be eliminated.
The time, pressure and temperature within the process are tightly controlled, just the minimum required to achieve the desired log. The product, after the process, must be maintained at a controlled temperature.
Jaivik Foods aims to provide bacteria-free, safe spices to its consumers that all can enjoy without compromising on taste and quality. Embracing the Continuous HT-ST (high temperature-short time) “In-Flow” steam decontamination process to produce a range of spices and herbs is one such step in that direction.
Choose the innovative solutions offered by Jaivik Foods and explore its wide range of safe spices and herbs!