Microbial Growth, Stability and Exposure Modelling
Creme Microbial is a set of cutting edge models and services for the analysis of bacterial behaviour in food products.
The growth of microorganisms in food products is affected by environmental conditions such as temperature of storage, water activity, acidity and humidity. The development of predictive models for your products and experimental data can help you control the safety of the product and minimize the risk of microbial contamination.
Making decisions about the safety of the product can be difficult, especially if environmental conditions vary during the production and/or storage period.
When combined with the right data, Creme Microbial can help you answer the important questions.
- In what conditions should the product be produced and stored in order to minimize the growth of considered microorganisms?
- How do the microorganisms respond to the environmental conditions?
- What is the optimal length of the shelf-life?
- What temperature should the product be stored in?
- What controlling factors should be applied in order to minimize the risk of pathogen growth? Models can be used to either select one controlling factor (i.e. use water activity to control the growth of pathogens) or use multiple factors simultaneously.
- Which product formulations are most likely to give rise to bacterial growth and under which conditions?
Microbial Growth Modelling
We develop user friendly software where users can test how changing factors affect the growth of the pathogen in a product. Models are unique to your experimental, laboratory and study data.
Creme Microbial models include:
- Determination of factors (temperature, pH, water activity) required to inhibit development of pathogens.
- Fitting growth models to experimental data- modelling of the lag, exponential, stationary and death phase (Primary Models).
- Growth simulation given food and factors (temp, pH, aw). Factors can be either constant or vary over time (Secondary Models).
- Modelling of bacterial decay and thermal inactivation models.
Experimental data can be modelled and mined to take full advantage of what can be learned from the data. When experimental and study data is provided which clearly defines the stability of a product (i.e. the product is considered stable for a particular combination of additives etc., but unstable for some other), we can develop a predictive model which interpolates between different input variables and provides the probability that the analysed product is stable.
The efficiency of experiments and predictive models is highly dependent on the quality of the collected data. Inappropriate experimental design could result in misleading or incorrect conclusions. The amount of data required for the development of predictive models depends on the purposes of analysis. This is why it is important to have an idea of questions to be answered prior to collection of the experimental or study data. Creme Global has experience in providing expert advice on the methods for data collection:
This is a key step in obtaining meaningful results. The correct choice of design will minimize the noise in the data and as result provide best possible estimates of parameters. The advice will cover the recommended experiment period duration, the time points for data collection as well as the number of replicates at each time point.
We provide expert advice on selection of the most appropriate combinations of environmental conditions. For instance, in order to predict the growth in varying temperatures, the experiment should be carried out for a range of temperatures. The range of temperatures will vary depending on the microorganism and the product considered.
The recommended experimental design is summarised in a detailed report.
Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA)
QMRA requires knowledge of both the hazard and the exposure. Creme Global has extensive experience in risk assessment modelling and software. Predicted microbial concentrations in foods can be linked to food consumption and dose response models using our software Creme Food Safety. This produces a more complete profile of risk and allows for better decision making and focusing of resources in risk mitigation.
How it Works
Creme Microbial is a personalised service that provides you with tools to model the growth of bacteria, yeast, mould and fungi in your products. We can help you explore, understand and analyse your data and use it to maximize the safety of your product. All models are accompanied with a full report and analysis, and can be integrated into a web-based tool, accessible anywhere, for use in future product development and testing.