Improving quality

If products are prepared today and consumed tomorrow, very simple and inexpensive processing methods can be used. Most fruits and vegetables are suitable for this kind of preparation. Such products may also be suitable for catering, where they will undergo further processing. If, however, products need a shelf-life of several days, or up to one week and more, as is the case with the products intended for retailing, then more advanced processing methods and treatments are needed using the hurdle concept (Wiley, 1994; Ahvenainen and Hurme, 1994; Leistner and Gorris, 1995). The key steps are summarised in Table 14.2. Preservation is based on the synergies between individual steps such as these. These steps must also take place within a safe processing environment. Hygienic processing within a framework of good manufacturing practices and effective HACCP management is of utmost importance in preventing microbiological and other risks (Huxsoll and Bolin, 1989; Wiley, 1994; Ahvenainen and Hurme, 1994; Ahvenainen et al., 1994; Zomorodi, 1990). Some of the key hazards and their methods of control within a hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) framework are summarised in Table 14.3.

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