Inactivation of microorganisms

Protecting health, safeguarding reputations

Inactivation of microorganisms

Protecting health, safeguarding reputations

Increasing urbanization and globalization have led to growing demand for products such as ready-to-eat foods, as well as ever-more complex food supply chains. This means that food safety issues are more important than ever, but it is not just public health that is at stake. Food-borne disease outbreaks can have a devastating impact on brand reputation, and the majority of all product recalls are the result of microbial contamination. 


Microorganisms, macro threats

Of 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted annually
Is the result of spoilage caused by microorganisms.
million healthy life years (DALYs)
Lost annually worldwide through the consumption of contaminated food.
million USD
The average direct cost of a recall to a food company – not including lost sales or damage to the brand's image. 

Removing the risks

Food safety incidents can have a devastating financial and reputational impact, and globalized trade means that local incidents can become international emergencies in no time. Microorganisms can enter and contaminate food products via raw materials during or after processing. The control of harmful bacteria  requires reliable kill steps to ensure safe food products, a critical aspect in food processing.

Bühler has used its expertise in engineering, process technology and microbiology to design traditional heat processes into reliable kill steps, including extruders, roasters and steam conditioners. Each kill step also requires  validation and monitoring. We therefore provide a validation service for most of our heat processes to prove their effectiveness. This not only proves the inactivation capabilities but also allows for continuous, accurate and in-depth process monitoring to avoid incidents and maintain optimum quality. Bühler has also developed Laatu,  a breakthrough non-thermal microbial reduction solution for the dry food industry. It uses low energy electron beam technology to significantly reduce microorganisms such as salmonella, E.coli and spores in milliseconds. It cuts energy consumption by up to 80% compared to steam, has a minimal or zero effect on product quality and can be implemented anywhere along the processing line. Laatu is already available for the spice market, and implementation for other dry food markets is being developed.

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