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Low Moisture Foods Prove Problematic

qlabs-low-moisture-foods-prove-problematic While traditionally considered low risk, low moisture foods are susceptible to pathogen contamination as evidenced by recent cases of Salmonella contamination in dairy powder, paprika powder, black pepper, toasted oats cereal, peanut butter, and chia powder. Research has shown that while pathogens do not thrive in low moisture foods, they do survive very well in these dry environments when stored at room temperature or above.  In the cases when the low moisture products are reconstituted, the bacteria proliferate when the moisture level is increased.  Bacterial strains that survive in these dry products have proven to withstand low pH environments, such as the stomach, and therefore reach the intestines where they cause the most problems for the consumer. Due to their benign reputation, low moisture foods are often left off the list of matrices validated when rapid pathogen detection products are developed and approved. Therefore, a qualified laboratory must perform a validation study to indicate proficiency of a rapid method for these troublesome product types.

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