International journal of food microbiology vol:47 issue:1-2 pages:51-57
A risk analysis was applied to experimental heat resistance data. This analysis is an approach for processing experimental thermo-bacteriological data in order to study the variability of D and z values of target microorganisms depending on the deviations range of environmental factors, to determine the critical factors and to specify their critical tolerance. This analysis is based on sets of sensitivity functions applied to a specific case of experimental data related to the thermoresistance of Clostridium sporogenes and Bacillus stearothermophilus spores. The effect of the following factors was analyzed: the type of target microorganism; nature of the heating substrate; pH, temperature; type of acid employed and NaCl concentration. The type of target microorganism to be inactivated, the nature of the substrate (reference or real food) and the heating temperature were identified as critical factors, determining about 90% of the alteration of the microbiological risk. The effect of the type of acid used for the acidification of products and the concentration of NaCl can be assumed to be negligible factors for the purposes of engineering calculations. The critical non-uniformity in temperature during thermobacteriological studies was set as 0.5% and the critical tolerances of pH value and NaCl concentration were 5%. These results are related to a specific case study, for that reason their direct generalization is not correct. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.