Regulatory Control of Food Composition, Quality, and Safety

It is essential to reiterate that safety is the first requisite of any food. In a broader sense, this means a food must be free of any harmful chemical or microbial contaminant at the time of its consumption. For operational purposes this definition takes on a more applied form. In the canning industry, commercial sterility as applied to low-acid foods means the absence of viable spores of Clostridium botulinum. This in turn can be translated into a specific set of heating conditions for a specific product in a specific package. Due to these heating requirements, one can then select specific time-temperature conditions that shall optimize retention of quality attributes of the products. Similarly, in case of a product such as peanut butter, operational safety can be regarded primarily by the absence of aflatoxins—carcinogenic substances produced by certain species of molds. Steps taken to prevent growth of the mold in question may or may not interfere with retention of some other quality attribute; nevertheless, conditions producing a safe product must be employed.

  • U.S. Food Law
  • Canadian Food Laws
  • European Union (EU) Food Laws
  • International Food Law

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