Submitted to: Blackwell Science
Publication Type: Book / chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2007
Publication Date: 9/1/2007
Citation: Juneja, V.K., Snyder, O.P. 2007. Sous vide and cook-chill processing of foods: concept development and microbiological safety. Blackwell Science. In advances in Thermal and Non Thermal Food Preservation, Ed. Gaurav Tewari and Vijay K. Juneja. Chapter 8, pp.145-163. Blackwell Publishing, Ames, Iowa. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Sous vide and cook-chill pasteurized, refrigerated ready-to-eat foods were introduced in about 1970 as a more convenient food option than frozen food for the food market, deli, foodservice kitchen, and home food preparer. Concerns have been expressed about the public-health risks associated with such processed foods because the mild heat treatment, to retain the organoleptic attributes, may not ensure proper destruction of pathogenic and spoilage organisms. The safety of foods cannot be considered to rely on only one single chilled storage factor. Research has assessed and quantified the combination of hurdles to decrease the heat processing requirements and control subsequent germination of surviving spores during storage. The combination of hurdle technology has enormous potential to improve the margin of safety of processed foods. Further research employing complex multifactorial experiments and analysis to define and quantify the effects and interactions of intrinsic and extrinsic factors and development of enhanced predictive models is needed. In addition, quantitative risk assessment models based on product composition/formulation, processing and storage must be developed. These models should be validated by appropriate challenge studies to ensure safety. Finally, use of a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point approach, Good Manufacturing Practices, consumer education, and use of time-temperature indicators are advocated to ensure safety of sous vide and cook-chill pasteurized products.