Introduction

is a change in , making the food less suitable for (human) consumption.

Types of spoilage

  • Physical spoilage: hereby the structure of foodstuffs , for example: damaged, eaten up, dry, withered, old, rough, limp, soggy.
  • spoilage, for example: denatured, vitamin degradation, decomposition, oxidation.
  • Biochemical/enzymatic spoilage, for example: , rancid, stale, discolouration.
  • Microbial spoilage (by ), for example: putrefaction, fermentation, fungal decay.

Sources of contamination

Food can be contaminated with micro-organisms at various points in the process.

Primary contamination

Primary contamination occurs when , auxiliary or are contaminated.
The degree of contamination is influenced by, among other things:

  • the harvesting conditions (moist, overripe spoils faster than dry harvested, unripe fruit);
  • slaughter (inflammation of the intestine);
  • the storage conditions and the of the raw materials ( in cans and bulk milk).

Secondary Contamination

Secondary contamination occurs during further processing and preparation of foodstuffs. This contamination can take place via different routes.

Layout of business space, equipment and tools

The ’s layout must prevent contaminated raw materials from coming into contact with processed product. To this end, it is necessary to properly regulate the flow of goods and to have separate areas for raw materials and processed products. The equipment used must therefore not give rise to additional contamination of the product. For this it is necessary that all materials and equipment can be properly cleaned and disinfected and that they are actually properly cleaned and disinfected.

Contamination and prevention

People

People can contaminate the product with microorganisms from:

  • hands: micro-organisms from skin flora can be transferred;
  • hair, dander: head covering is often obligatory, but it is not sufficient;
  • saliva: by talking, coughing and blowing.

Contamination of food can be prevented by such as hand hygiene, head covering and mouth cloths.

Water

that can come into contact with the product must be of drinking water quality. 

Much cooling water is therefore chlorinated to prevent contamination.

Microbiological

It is obvious to demonstrate microbiological spoilage with microbiological methods. The total aerobic mesophilic plate count can be used for this. Depending on the storage conditions, it may be useful, for example, to incubate at a reduced (for psychrophiles in refrigerated products) or under anaerobic conditions (for anaerobes in vacuum-packed products).

Chemical

Spoilage is not only about the high number of micro-organisms in the product (the bacterial count in fermented products is also high), but also about the undesirable that are formed by the metabolism of micro-organisms.

Physical

Spoilage can also be demonstrated using physical methods. Depending on the type of product, one can think of changes in pH, electrical conductivity, surface tension, refractive index and viscosity. In the case of , in particular, use is made of the water-binding properties as a measure of spoilage.

The above-mentioned methods provide an indication of the changes in a product. However, it is not always possible to indicate a direct relationship with the bacterial count. With many of the chemical and physical methods mentioned, clear results are only obtained if the bacterial counts are already well above the spoilage limit of approximately 10*7 per gram. In practice, microbiological methods (traditional or modern) are the most common.


Related articles to What is Food spoilage and can it be prevented?

Many customers and visitors to this page 'What is Food spoilage and can it be prevented?' also viewed the articles and manuals listed below:

We are a Food Tech firm in Food Safety Compliance. Experts in setting up and maintaining Food Safety Systems for companies in the Food Supply Chain. We are dedicated to breaking down the barriers for Transparency and Trust in the Global Food Supply Chain.
In our Partnership Program we would like to work together with (Non)Governmental Organizations, Universities, Multinationals and Food companies.

iMIS Food is a fully equipped Food Safety Compliance platform. Unique is the installation of an iMIS Food server at the Food company, for online and offline availability. The online (no travel costs) iMIS Food implementation process includes 6 to 10 days of support and has a lead time of 3 months.


Monthly iMIS Food Update

Would you also like to receive the monthly iMIS Food Update and be invited to our events? Then please fill in this form.

Food Safety news 8-2022

Collaboration between QAssurance and Agrea

We partnered with Agrea to expand services to the Philippines, home to one of the largest agri-sectors in Asia, and develop opportunities for Southeast Asia

Enabling market potential FMCG in the Philippines

The following page shows a post of Cherry Atilano, about the signing an agreement between AGREA and QAssurance about working together.

Salmonella in an egg, no surprise

QAssurance records as a reaction to the ECDC and EFSA Salmonella in a chocolate egg Investigation.