Many food products undergo a presumed kill step during production using time and temperature correlations, yet most food processors lack the scientific proof that ensures consumer safety. A manufacturer of thermal processing equipment has addressed that breach. Research-based tools developed by Buhler Aeroglide enable nut processors to validate that a roaster is delivering the desired kill step every minute of every day. The scientific-validation system is based on thermal processing parameters established for the reduction of salmonella surrogate Enterococcus faecium in runner-type peanuts, first published in Peanut Science in 2014.

Currently, the almond industry has the only mandate for log reduction: a 4-log kill step. An industry-wide need exists to ensure log reduction for all nuts and seed processing based on retention time, product temperature, process air temperature, air velocity, product moisture content and process air humidity.

Buhler Aeroglide’s new series of processing profiles indicates nut roasters can achieve an approximate 5-log reduction using continuous monitoring with a dynamic control system. Data-modeling protocols developed and validated for the nut industry demonstrate applications in grain-based ready-to-eat (RET) products such as snacks and breakfast cereals.